Surprise development as Celtic manager target turns back on offer

Manager Eddie Howe crouching

Eddie Howe will not become the next Celtic manager due to being unable to bring in his desired backroom team, as reported by the Press Association.

Celtic have had to turn their attention away from the former Bournemouth boss and their front-runner to replace Neil Lennon, who resigned in February when Old Firm rivals Rangers were well on their way to stopping the Hoops’ quest for a 10th successive Premiership title.

It was widely believed that the hold-up in Howe’s appointment was due to Bournemouth being involved in the Championship play-offs. Howe was reportedly looking to bring first-team coaches Stephen Purches and Simon Weatherstone as well as the Cherries’ technical director Richard Hughes to Glasgow.

It is understood Celtic were willing to accommodate Howe’s requests. But the former Burnley boss will not move north of the border because he is unable to assemble the backroom staff he wanted.

Celtic are now in advanced talks with another candidate and hope to make an appointment soon.

The Parkhead club told fans on Wednesday they intend to appoint their new manager “shortly” as they announced a £50 gift voucher for supporters who renew their season tickets.

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Celtic man could join Newcastle

Meanwhile, Newcastle are pushing ahead with a move for Celtic central defender Kristoffer Ajer, according to a report.

Toon scouts have been watching the 23-year-old and were in attendance in the recent defeat to Rangers at Ibrox. Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported that Steve Bruce and Newcastle “are advancing” their pursuit of the Norway international.

Ajer looks likely to leave Parkhead this summer after five years with the Hoops. He has got one year remaining on his contract and Celtic will not want to lose him for free next summer.

READ MORENewcastle pushing ahead with £8m deal for Celtic man