Davie Provan: Brendan Rodgers is coveted by clubs in England

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers' excellent work in Scotland has not gone unnoticed in England. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers' excellent work in Scotland has not gone unnoticed in England. Picture: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
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Brendan Rodgers will be “on the short list” of almost every English Premier League club for their next managerial vacancy and is unlikely to be sufficiently motivated to remain at Celtic for the long term, according to the Scottish champions’ former winger Davie Provan.

he Sky Sports pundit, who spends much of his time working in England, believes Rodgers’ reputation south of the border has been reinforced by his work at Celtic this season, where the team returned to the Champions League group stage and remain unbeaten domestically.

Rodgers was sacked by Liverpool in October 2015 but his performance at the Anfield club is now being measured favourably in comparison to his successor Jurgen Klopp who is currently enduring a difficult period in his tenure.

Provan feels Rodgers will be keen to return to the Premier League when the right opportunity arises and fears even the prospect of leading Celtic to a new record of ten consecutive league titles – they are currently closing in on six-in-a-row – will not be enough to persuade him to stay in Glasgow.

“There was a perception down in England that Brendan was sacked prematurely,” said Provan. “If you look at his win record over the duration, it’s better than Jurgen Klopp has managed until now. So there was probably a feeling that Liverpool were a bit unfair. What he’s done up here with Celtic would probably justify that perception.

“The problem for Celtic in the longer term could be trying to keep him here. There’s no doubt he’ll want another go at the Premier League. The trick for Celtic is finding the means of keeping him here and keeping him motivated which might be the more 
difficult of the two.

“I’d love to think they could keep him for four years but there’s has to be doubt about that. I’m not sure he’ll see ten in a row as the big picture. He’ll see restoring Celtic’s credibility in Europe as the number one priority. He’ll want to make Celtic regular Champions League participants.

“I don’t think anyone is expecting Celtic to win the Champions League but they should be beating teams like Legia Warsaw and Maribor, which they weren’t doing before he arrived.

“Under Brendan, if he’s 
given the backing from the board, and it would seem at the moment that they are buying into him, I don’t see why 
Celtic can’t be Champions League regulars.

“But there’s a fair chance of a big job in England being a pull for him and that would be the difficult one for Celtic. Managers down there are given no time at all and there’s a huge turnover in jobs.

“Brendan would be on the short list of most clubs down there. I don’t think he would take a lower Premier League job. It would take something special to attract him. That would be the worry for Celtic.

“The two performances and results against Manchester City in the Champions League this season didn’t go unnoticed down south. Those are the ones people in England would have been looking for.

“If he wins the treble this year and he’s already qualified for the Champions League – where does he go after that? The concern would be that he does it all and does it really early at Celtic and then he looks around and wonders what he should be doing.

“He’s still young enough to take his time and I hope he stays in Scotland for the foreseeable future. But the way he’s going, the way he’s improving the team, he will get offers. That’s

inevitable.

“He’ll want another go at England because he clearly wouldn’t have been

happy with how it ended at Liverpool. When you consider how close he got to winning the title with them, it was very surprising they made the change when they did.”