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Next Celtic manager: Keane endorsement sees Roy go favourite

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | May 12, 2016

Roy Keane has become the fourth different man to head Coral’s next Celtic manager betting market since it was announced Ronny Deila would be leaving the Scottish Premiership champions this summer.

Briefly a former Bhoys player at the end of his onfield career, Keane is currently assistant boss of the Republic of Ireland, but his future beyond Euro 2016 isn’t certain.

Why not Rodgers?

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Keane’s status at the head of the Hoops is surprising, because on the same day as he took over from Brendan Rodgers as favourite the latter’s old club Swansea City handed a two-year contract extension to Francesco Guidolin.

That was expected to result in Rodgers being shortened to take the Celtic job, but a ringing in-house endorsement of Keane from Bhoys stopper Craig Gordon has instead swung the odds in the ex-Manchester United captain’s favour.

Keane “hard but fair”

“He’s hard but fair. What you see is really is what you get,” Gordon said of Keane, who kept goal and signed for him at Sunderland. “If he was appointed, I’m sure he would do well and he would be successful.

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“I know how he liked things to run at Sunderland. He was an aggressive player, he wanted to win every match and, from what I’ve seen, he is exactly the same as a manager. It’s a big job for anybody. It’s a big club, a massive club.

“There are a lot of good managers out there that would see Celtic as being a really good job and a good prospect to go on and do something pretty special, winning trophies and playing in European competitions. There’s not that many clubs in Britain that are capable of doing that.”

Celtic challenge?

Rodgers apart, the other favourites to succeed Deila as Hoops head coach have all been former players. Keane holds that common ground with fellow midfielder Paul Lambert, who has now left Blackburn Rovers, and one-time Bhoys centre back David Moyes.

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While the Celtic hierarchy are understood to be in no hurry to name a new boss after recording a fifth straight Scottish Premiership title triumph, getting in a manager with experience of the club is certainly a desirable trait.

Hoops supporters have been left underwhelmed by performances towards the end of Deila’s reign at Parkhead. Couple that with Glasgow Old Firm rivals Rangers completing their resurgence, and the Celtic job is tougher than it looks.

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