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‘A future Celtic manager’ ‘got a meeting with Desmond about being in the dugout’ ‘potential target for the managers job’ TV pundit impresses Celtic fans

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Shaun Maloney stepped into the Sky Sports boots of Kris Boyd at St Johnstone today to set off some speculation among Celtic fans.

With the club appearing to be reluctant to provide any update on the managerial review that they announced on December 7 a large number of supporters believe that there will be change at the end of the season.

Peter Lawwell’s retirement leaves Neil Lennon looking very vulnerable with performances this season massively disappointing. A change of direction is expected when Don McKay takes over as CEO with a new approach and fresh faces expected in the dug-out.

Eddie Howe, Rafa Benitez and Steve Clarke have all been linked in recent weeks but there seems little substance to those claims beyond the odds given by bookmakers keen for attention.

Maloney would tick a few boxes for many Celtic fans but having never managed at senior level it would be a massive gamble for the club to undertake.

When injury brought his playing days to a halt he took charge of the Celtic reserve side in August 2017 but just over a year later he was offered one of the prime coaching jobs in the game- working under his old Wigan boss Roberto Martinez with the Belgian national side.

That role gives Maloney access and experience of probably the most talented group of players in the business with a high expectation that they will be champions of Europe by the end of the summer.

Celtic’s needs are likely to be much more urgent with European qualifiers in July quickly followed by a league season where a lot of wrongs are expected to be corrected. A major rebuild of the squad looks likely.

Is Shaun Maloney a realistic replacement for Neil Lennon

Yes, we need a bold change in emphasis

Yes, we need a bold change in emphasis

No, let him learn and develop elsewhere

No, let him learn and develop elsewhere

It will be a huge task for whoever is in charge of Celtic next season, it might be too early this time for Maloney but with his insight into the game and grasp of coaching there could be a day when the former striker is in the Celtic dug-out with Lennon sharing his thoughts with Sky Sports viewers.

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