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Celtic turn toward former Chelsea man after Roy Keane snub

| 03.06.2014

Steve Clarke has emerged as the favourite to land the vacant Celtic manager’s job after Roy Keane snubbed the Bhoys in favour of an assistant role in the Premier League.

Keane had been expected to succeed Neil Lennon in the Hoops dugout after holding talks with the club but the former Manchester United star had a last minute change of heart and is now in talks to fill the number two role at Villa Park.

The snub has seen former West Brom boss Clarke, who earned his managerial stripes with assistant stints at Newcastle and Chelsea, shorten to 8/11 to become the next permanent Celtic boss.

Owen Coyle is next in the betting at 9/4, with Malky MacKay viewed as the only other serious contender for the role at 7/2.

Clarke, who has been out of the game since being given his marching orders by the Baggies, would no doubt succeed at Celtic Park but the calibre of the leading candidates should offer a dose of reality to Hoops fans.

Following Keane’s refusal to take the role the leading three candidates are now all out of work after being deemed not up to scratch by their last employers in England.

Although the betting market is not a direct reflection on the club’s recruitment process, that these three lead the market is an indictment of how uncompetitive the Scottish top flight has become in the absence of Rangers – Celtic’s only real challengers in recent history.

Clarke is the clear favourite to land the role and his tenure will no doubt bring silverware for the fans, but when a former player turns down the chance to manage a Champions League club in favour of a back-up role at Villa Park the Celtic faithful may just start to question the immediate direction of the club.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.