King Henrik to make hero’s return to Hoops?
Celtic scoring icon Henrik Larsson is the even-money favourite with Coral to become the Scottish Premiership champions’ next permanent manager, after Neil Lennon parted company with the Glasgow giants.
Larsson, who currently coaches Swedish Allsvenskan outfit Falkenberg, played for the Hoops for seven years between 1997 and 2004. He is Celtic’s record scorer in Europe and third on their all-time list.
A return to Scotland for Larsson would mark his first major job in management. While inexperience has not been a barrier to appointing Bhoys bosses before, there are more seasoned candidates available.
Behind ‘King Henrik’ in the betting are former Manchester United manager David Moyes (7/2) and Cardiff City coach Malky Mackay (8/1), but the latter is also linked to the vacancies at West Bromwich Albion and another of his old clubs Norwich City.
Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara, meanwhile, is a 6/1 shot. Like him, Larsson, Mackay and Moyes, Paul Lambert (Aston Villa, but facing an uncertain future with the club up for sale) played for Celtic and is 12/1 to move back to Scotland.
In fact, out of work trio Owen Coyle (14/1), David O’Leary (25/1) and Steve Clarke (12/1) are the only names among the early candidates that have not turned out for or managed the Bhoys before.
Current Republic of Ireland coaching team Martin O’Neill (25/1) and Roy Keane (33/1) are outside shouts to return to the Hoops, but are under contract until after Euro 2016 qualifying ends. Celtic would thus have to pay the Irish FA compensation to bring either back to Glasgow.
O’Neill, in particular, oversaw a hugely successful five-year spell in charge of the Hoops between 2000 and 2005, landing seven major honours and reaching the 2003 UEFA Cup final.
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy and Dundee manager Paul Hartley are both outside shouts of landing the role at 33/1. There can be little doubt who fans would like to see in the Parkhead dugout, however, and that is for the prodigal son from Sweden to have his second coming.