Neil Lennon still to learn fate but Celtic refute Jose Mourinho offer
Lennon is still the odds-on favourite to become the next permanent manager of the Scottish champions despite the price on Jose Mourinho, pictured, shortening to just 4-1 amid fresh speculation over his next move.
But senior sources at Celtic have poured cold water on reports from Sky Italia which claimed former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Mourinho had been offered the job. The 56-year-old, who defeated Celtic as Porto manager in the 2003 Uefa Cup Final in Seville, has been out of work since being sacked by United in December and has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Roma.
Lennon, who stepped in as interim manager in February when Brendan Rodgers left Celtic for Leicester City, has yet to be informed when the club’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell will decide his future beyond the end of the season.
“I don’t know,” admitted Lennon in the aftermath of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie which clinched the Premiership title and kept Celtic on course for a third successive domestic treble ahead of the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts at Hampden on 25 May. “I just want to enjoy this moment and see my family because I haven’t spent much time with them. I’ll take stock of things over the next couple of days but there are plans in place going forward.
“There are going to be changes staff-wise behind the scenes that we obviously need to do. But right now I just want to live in the moment. I’m grateful to Peter and Dermot for their words privately. We’ve done what we were expected to do – I can’t believe anyone doubted me really! I had a good chat to Dermot on the phone on Saturday morning. He’s still very much involved and I’m sure he will be delighted the title has been won again.”
Celtic will now arrive at Ibrox as champions for the final Old Firm game of the season next Sunday and goalkeeper Scott Bain made it clear they intend to enjoy the occasion.
“Having clinched the title, it will allow us to play with a little bit more freedom at Ibrox,” said Bain. “We will go there with a swagger. We have proved we are the best team in the country and no one can touch us. The Celtic train just keeps marching on.”