Eddie Howe to Celtic: Manager issues statement as Hoops and Newcastle United circle

Celtic managerial target Eddie Howe has issued a statement as rumours of his impending appointment as Neil Lennon’s successor at Parkhead gather speed.

Eddie Howe pictured on the touchline during his time as Bournemouth boss. The 43-year-old issued a statement yesterday insisting no career move was imminent
Eddie Howe pictured on the touchline during his time as Bournemouth boss. The 43-year-old issued a statement yesterday insisting no career move was imminent

The former Bournemouth boss has been tipped to take the Hoops job as the club searches for a new permanent manager but his statement suggests interim coach John Kennedy will be in place until the close season.

Howe has also been linked with Crystal Palace and Newcastle United in recent weeks as the race for his services heats up. Magpies boss Bruce is currently the favourite with bookies to be the next Premier League boss to be shown the door while Roy Hodgson’s position at Selhurst Park remains uncertain with his current contract up in the summer.

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But a statement issued on behalf of the 43-year-old appeared to pour cold water on suggestions an announcement was imminent with Celtic or any club for that matter.

“There has been significant interest from a number of clubs,” said Howe’s representative. “However, talks of any deal being close are extremely premature.

"His plan remains to not return to management until the summer at the earliest.”

Reports suggest that one potential stumbling block concerns Howe's preference for a Director of Football.

He is understood to be keen to bringing former Scotland international and trusted ex-Cherries colleague Richard Hughes with him to Parkhead but with the Hoops said to be pursuing Manchester City’s Football Partnerships and Pathways Manager Fergal Harkin for a similar role this may create issues.

Celtic’s announcement that new chief executive Dominic McKay would be starting earlier than anticipated appeared to fuel rumours of an imminent appointment but for now, the situation remains unresolved.

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