ROY KEANE has been installed as favourite to become the next Celtic manager by bookmakers after a major bet was placed on the Irishman yesterday afternoon.
The Republic of Ireland assistant, who had a six-month spell at the club in 2006, moved to odds-on with all bookies, replacing Owen Coyle as the shortest price in what has been a fluctuating Celtic manager market.
Keane is believed to be one of the names being considered by the Scottish champions to fill the vacancy created by Neil Lennon’s resignation last Thursday, although sources close to the club consider that they retain an “outside chance” of persuading Michael Laudrup to take the post.
The 49-year-old Dane, who last week agreed a settlement with Swansea City following his sacking by the Welsh club in February, is understood to have had his interest piqued by the contact that Celtic made with his representatives. Moreover, former Celtic midfielder Morten Wieghorst, who was No 2 to Laudrup at Swansea, gave an enthusiastic endorsement when linked with the post at the weekend.
Former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus forward Laudrup, whose brother Brian enjoyed a glittering four years with Rangers in the 1990s, is giving the Celtic offer serious enough consideration to have delayed an expected move to manage Granada.
A League Cup winner with Swansea, the 104-times capped Laudrup won a league and cup double in his first coaching role at Brondby and performed creditably as Real Mallorca hit the financial buffers before an unhappy spell at Spartak Moscow.
Coyle, currently unemployed and with no chance of receiving a better offer, would appear the fall-back option, with Malky Mackay, also out of work but believed to have had discussions over vacancies at a number of English clubs, another genuine contender.
The number of names linked to the position continues to grow with Wigan manager Uwe Rosler the latest to be added to a list that includes Oscar Garcia, David Moyes Henrik Larsson and Steve Clarke.