Celtic legend Charlie Nicholas says he would love Brendan Rodgers to become Ronny Deila’s replacement because it would bring the excitement back to Parkhead.
Former Liverpool manager Rodgers is understood to have been in talks with the club and is the bookies’ favourite to succeed the Norwegian.
Nicholas, who feels Rodgers is also the fans’ No 1 choice, believes it would be a welcome bold move by the board, of whom he has been critical in recent years. Rodgers has never hidden his affection for Celtic and was a youth coach at Reading when Tommy Burns and Pat Bonner were in charge there.
However, Nicholas is more interested in the Northern Irishman’s coaching ability and presence rather than his affinity.
The 54-year-old former Scotland striker said: “The majority of the Celtic supporters that I speak with, Brendan seems to be edging towards the No 1. If they can get him and they are prepared to give him his head, it could become very exciting.
“With Rangers coming back into the league, maybe they are forced into it a little. But if they can nail that down, it would be quite exciting.
“In the past, I wouldn’t have flagged him up because I’m not convinced the board or the owner would go after that pedigree in terms of salary and things.
“But if he [major shareholder Dermot Deesmond] does and realises that ‘needs must’ to kick Celtic further forward, that would be nice.
“It would be the first really encouraging sign that I had heard from the club coming out at that level for some time.”
Nicholas was all about flair and style in his playing days, He played with a swagger and feels Rogers would bring the wow factor back to Celtic Park.
He said: “Brendan’s is a style of play I have always liked.
“I got ridiculed two or three years ago when I suggested Gerard Houllier. I’ve always looked at Guus Hiddink and people like that. It doesn’t need a guy with a Tricolour or a Celtic banner wrapped around his forehead or a scarf to identify the Celtic style.
“Everyone knows what the Celtic style is, but to embrace someone who is quite natural in wanting to play that way is intriguing for me.
“I openly said that I would support Roy Keane totally because he would shake the club and ruffle it up a bit. He would demand standards be met.
“But for style of play, if Celtic are serious and want to go down that route, I’d be very encouraged by Brendan Rodgers – very encouraged.
“Brendan was a bit fortunate in that the standard of player when he went to Liverpool was high and so was the standard of the academy.
“The standard of buying was also high, but he embraced it and took in on and it’s a style of play which I have admired.
“I think Brendan would play more than one up-front on European nights here also. It’s a style which non-Celtic people would be interested to see.
“Can he come? Will he play this way? It’s not gambling football, it’s entertaining football. It might work and might not, but it’s the principle.”
Charlie Nicholas was speaking at the Magners Magnificent 7s Final. For more, see facebook.com/MagnersCider & @MagnersCider.