Posers for Postecoglou - how the new Celtic manager must provide clarity on trio in first major media dealings
There will be no end of questions for Ange Postecoglou to provide clarity on when the newly-in-place Celtic manager has his first sit-ins with the Scottish media on Friday. Below are five covering a number of the more pressing matters beyond transfer plans.
What are the plans for backroom staff in the long-term?
No details have emerged from the Parkhead club as to whether Postecoglou will be recruiting an assistant, or any other first-team coaching members. Previous No.2 – and more recently interim manager – John Kennedy and first-team coach from last season Gavin Strachan appear to have been retained to assist the Greek-Australian, with the now underway pre-season training programme. However, it would be surprising if Postecoglou does not envisage a refresh in this department. Shaun Maloney has been touted for a role following his duties with the Belgians at Euro 2020, which raises questions as to how Kennedy and Strachan will fit into that.
When will Celtic’s Euro 2020 Scots join up with the squad?
Postecolgou told Celtic media that Callum McGregor, David Turnbull and Ryan Christie – who is expected to leave, but has yet to attract bids from interested clubs Nice or Monaco – will require a break before being plunged into the build-up for the Champions League second round qualifier first leg at home to FC Midtjylland on July 20. In having played Scotland’s last two games, McGregor may require more down-time than the other two, Christie given 45 minutes across the finals, with Turnbull not featuring. The first days of training camp in Wales, where Celtic head for ten days from July 5, may be too early for McGregor at least. He is sure to want some involvement from the three in the games that will see them play Sheffield Wednesday in Newport on July 7, Charlton at the same location three days later, and the trip to play Bristol City at their home on July 14.
Will Odsonne Edouard be released for France’s Olympic squad?
The suggestion that Celtic’s main striker may not depart the club in the summer as previously thought, Leicester City having turned their attentions elsewhere and no bid having come in from Arsenal, the 23-year-old’s desired next stop is intriguing. Postecoglou would welcome retaining Edouard, even if his club are unlikely to be sanguine about the possibility of him leaving on a free when his contract expires next summer. However, this would then bring into play the issue of his participation in the Olympics, which would rule him out for any early European qualifiers. Celtic can refuse to let him go to Tokyo, with Monaco blocking the release of their players because of the Champions League qualifying phase. What kind of reaction that would elicit from Edouard can only be guessed at, though.
What is happening with Jack Hendry?
Reports in Belgium claim that Oostende have been unable to activate the release clause in his loan deal with them because they do not have the financial wherewithal to cover the £1.6million fee required to do so. With Kristoffer Ajer expected to be sold at any point, and Christopher Jullien yet to return to full fitness, Postecoglou could want to utilise Hendry, in the short-term at least. Only the 55-year-old can shed any light on this front.
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