Celtic confirm Eddie Howe deal collapse and double down on naming new coach 'shortly'; Australian coach favourite for post

Celtic have re-affirmed their pledge to name a new manager ‘shortly’ after a proposed deal to bring Eddie Howe to Glasgow collapsed.

The former Bournemouth man had been the leading candidate to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic Park but 96 days after the previous incumbent’s resignation, Celtic confirmed they had moved to other targets.

Ange Postecoglou, the Australian coach currently in charge of Yokohama Marinos in the Japanese J-League, has emerged as the new favourite for the job as Celtic doubled down on their aim to name a new manager ‘shortly’ which they pledged in their season ticket renewal announcement earlier this week.

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The club had been anticipating a new manager would be in place for the new campaign’s launch, but citing factors ‘outwith his and the club’s control’ it will not be Howe leading the team in pre-season friendly matches against Preston North End and West Ham United.

Celtic confirmed Eddie Howe talks have broken down (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

In a statement the club confirmed: “Following very positive and detailed discussions with Eddie Howe, with the belief that he would be an excellent candidate for the position of Celtic manager, we allowed time for the process, given he’d previously made it clear he was not looking to return to management until this summer at the earliest.“We can now confirm that Eddie will not be joining the club, for reasons outwith both his and Celtic’s control.

“We wish Eddie success for the future.

“As part of the ongoing process we have engaged with a number of candidates. We fully appreciate our fans will be seeking clarity on this matter and we aim, very shortly, to announce the appointment of a manager with the quality and desire to take Celtic forward and bring further success to our supporters.”

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Eddie Howe will not be moving north to Celtic for 'reasons outwith his and the club's control' (Photo by CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Talks with Howe are understood to have been underway since April with reports also suggesting the targeted boss was keen on taking some of his previous backroom team north from Bournemouth – a move considered to be be delayed by the Cherries’ involvement with the English Premier League promotion play-offs. However no announcement was made after Brentford eliminated the south coast club at the semi-final stage last weekend and the Howe deal was subsequently ruled out on Friday afternoon.

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Celtic had hoped to have a manager in place before announcing season ticket renewals for 2021-22 (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)