Next Celtic manager: Lambert a firm favourite following Blackburn exit announcement
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | April 29, 2016
Paul Lambert has now gone odds-on 8/11 favourite in Coral’s next Celtic manager betting market, after it was announced the Scotsman would be leaving current club Blackburn Rovers at the end of this season.
The Bhoys are to appoint a new coach for next term having confirmed Ronnie Deila is standing down this summer, even though the Glasgow giants are set to lift a fifth consecutive Scottish Premiership title.
Having spent almost eight years as a Hoops player (1997-2005), Lambert would be a popular choice among Celtic supporters, and is one of a number of managers who has refused to rule himself out of taking over.
“You’ll probably get all that [speculation] with Celtic,” Lambert told local radio in the Northwest of England. “The only connection I’ve got with Celtic is I played eight great years there. Fantastic club; great club.”
“You like to think you’ve done your little bit to give them a hand in that time. Some great moments up there.”
Lambert, who won the Champions League as a player with Borussia Dortmund before his spell at Parkhead, has managed in Scottish football before with Livingston. He has also been boss of five different English Football League clubs with stints at Wycombe Wanderers, Colchester United, Norwich City (taking them from League One to the Premier League), Aston Villa and Blackburn.
Another former Bhoys player, David Moyes, has moved out from 11/10 to 3/1 in the betting as a result, with the ex-Manchester United manager linked with several potential vacancies this summer.
Celtic’s next boss being Scottish is looking increasingly likely with Malky Mackay (5/1) and Steve Clarke (8/1) also interested in succeeding Deila. There are also credible candidates from among Irish coaches, both north and south of the border.
Michael O’Neill (8/1), the current Northern Ireland boss, will have won plenty of admirers by steering his country to Euro 2016 – their first major tournament in 30 years.
Compatriots Brendan Rodgers (10/1) and Neil Lennon (the same price), who captained Celtic and was Deila’s Parkhead predecessor, are both out of work after leaving their respective positions at Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers throughout this season.
Speculation persists that Rodgers will return to former club Swansea City over the summer, which would appear to rule him out of contention.
Republic of Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane (16/1), meanwhile, is yet another ex-player linked with becoming Bhoys boss, while Martin O’Neill is 20/1 to return to the Hoops.