David Moyes has confirmed his interest in becoming Celtic manager but believes Neil Lennon has earned the right to keep the job beyond the end of the season.
Former Everton and Manchester United boss Moyes was previously interviewed for the Celtic position in the summer of 2016 before the Scottish champions appointed Brendan Rodgers.
Moyes is again among the bookies’ front runners for the job this summer, a list which saw Rafa Benitez’s price shortened to just 4-1 yesterday amid continuing uncertainty over the Newcastle United manager’s future.
Lennon remains the odds-on favourite to be Celtic manager at the start of next season. He has won three and drawn one of his four games in charge since returning to the club as interim manager following Rodgers’ departure to Leicester City last month, keeping them on course for a third consecutive domestic treble.
Moyes, a title winner as a player with Celtic in 1982, has been out of management since leaving West Ham United last May at the end of a short-term contract which saw him keep them in the Premier League.
The 55-year-old admits a return to Celtic will always hold an attraction for him but expects Lennon to underline his credentials for a second stint in permanent charge by overseeing victory against Rangers at Parkhead on Sunday, an outcome which would move the defending champions 13 points clear at the top of the Premiership table with just seven matches to play.
“I would always be interested [in the Celtic job] but I have got to say Lenny’s done a brilliant job,” Moyes told Radio 5 Live.
“He’s been there before and I think the job he is doing at the moment would warrant him being the Celtic manager.
“He is top of the league and if they beat Rangers, then it is over. I think it is over anyway. That would completely finish it.”
Moyes is also among the bookies’ leading contenders to become the next Scotland manager after scrutiny intensified around Alex McLeish’s position following the 3-0 defeat to Kazakhstan in last week’s opening Euro 2020 qualifying match.
But despite bruising experiences of varying degrees at Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham since he left Everton in 2013, Moyes insists his preference is to remain in club management.
“Club football would be my choice, but Scotland’s my country and I’m really passionate,” he said.
“The Scotland job is difficult for anybody because there’s great expectation. I don’t think there’s any one way we can fix it. I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve got some ideas and thoughts.
“There are many things we’re not doing in Scotland, we’ve chosen to bring in lots of foreign players, and cheap foreign players, and maybe a lot of the young Scottish players are not getting the opportunities.
“We need to see if we can find a solution to develop more players, but we’re not going to do it in two or four years, it’s a 10 or 15-year plan.”