• Nathan Smith


It hasn't been an easy season for Celtic so far.

Sitting 23 points adrift of league leaders and Old Firm rivals Rangers, alongside a recent COVID controversy, after the players jetted to Dubai after a defeat to Steven Gerrard's side.

This leads many to question Neil Lennon's future at the club, with seemingly a new manager being linked every week to replace the Northern Irishman, so here are five managers that may find themselves in the Celtic Park dugout...

Rafael Benitez

The favourite for the job, Rafael Benitez is without a doubt the highest calibre manager linked with Celtic at the moment.

Having recently left Chinese side Dalian Pro, Benitez will have no shortage of interest due to his successful career and wide range of experiences.

We all know about his Champions League winning Liverpool side and how he guided Valencia to a La Liga title, but it is his some of his most recent work that makes him a top candidate for the Celtic job.

Benitez was appointed manager at Newcastle towards the end of the 16/17 season, and while he was not able to avoid relegation, Benitez quickly won over the fans before guiding Newcastle back into the Premier League the following season.

The situation currently going on at Celtic has left a divide between the board and the fans, and Benitez proved via his spell under Mike Ashley that he could be someone that the fans can get behind regardless of their feelings towards the people above him.

While the title may be out of their hands this season, if Celtic can appoint Benitez it would certainly be seen as a coup and could lead Celtic straight back to winning trophies.

Eddie Howe

Another who has been linked heavily with the job is former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

Howe caught the attention of football fans after guiding Bournemouth from League Two to the Premier League and keeping them there for five seasons.

This albeit had an unsuccessful spell at Burnley in between it, but you cannot hide from the fantastic things Howe achieved with the Cherries.

Howe is known for his possession based style of play, which made Bournemouth one of the more interesting teams in the lower half of the Premier League.

Many might question his lack of success elsewhere, citing the aforementioned spell at Burnley, but that was nine years ago and Howe has more than likely evolved from then.

There could be some similarities made between Howe and Brendan Rodgers, who achieved great success at Celtic, and as long as it doesn't end like Rodgers time at the club did, many fans would be happy to see the tactically sound Englishman take charge.

Frank Lampard

While only recently being sacked from Chelsea, Frank Lampard may be looking to bounce straight back into the dugout, and Celtic might just be the place for him.

After one season at Derby County, where he guided them into the play-off final, Lampard was given the opportunity to become manager at Chelsea, the club he made himself a legend at as a player.

It was not an easy first season, as Chelsea were barred from signing players due to breaching transfer regulations previously, but Lampard managed to get the Blues into the top 4, an achievement many were not sure him or his team could achieve at the start of the season.

However, his second season hasn't quite gone to plan, as Chelsea currently sit ninth in the table, and in a poor run of form, which saw the Englishman sacked.

The Blues have always been ruthless when it comes to a change of manager, so even though many think Lampard should have been given a chance to improve his side's fate, many also would have expected this.

While Lampard is a young manager, it is clear to see the quality he possesses, especially when it comes to bringing through youth and his ability to get his sides to play a nice possession based style.

It may be to soon for Lampard to step back into management, but a successful move to Celtic could be pivotal to his career as a manager and just imagine him vs Steven Gerrard in an Old Firm clash.

Mark Hughes

Out of all the familiar Premier League managers, who tend to drift from club to club, Mark Hughes may be one of the better ones.

While he has not completely succeeded in his last few roles in management, there has been some positive signs in there.

His Stoke side were formidable for three straight seasons, where he guided them to three consecutive ninth placed finishes.

Also, his previous spell at Blackburn Rovers where he guided them into European football led Manchester City paying an at the time world record compensation fee to bring the Welshman in.

However, it is hard to ignore Hughes' miserable last season at Stoke and his not so great last six months at Southampton.

While appointing Mark Hughes might not delight Celtic fans, he has shown that he can build a strong team and that could be enough to land him the job at Celtic Park.

Gerardo Seoane

This is certainly a wildcard, with no apparent links with Gerardo Seoane and the Celtic job but this could be the man to take Celtic back to the top of the league and even further.

The BSC Young Boys manager has had plenty of interest from Bundesliga sides after just three seasons of management which already tells you a lot about the ability Seoane has.

After just 17 games in charge of FC Luzern, he was given a chance at the reigning Swiss Super League champions, a chance he has made the most of.

Not content with just retaining the league, Seoane guided his side into the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history.

Last season he managed a league and cup double despite being knocked out in the Europa League group stages, and his side currently sit top of the Swiss Super League and are preparing to take on Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League round of 32.

Seoane is a progressive manager, who likes his side to press the ball and play with a fast tempo, usually in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3.

While it may cost a fair bit to will Seoane away from a comfortable position in Switzerland, appointing Seoane would show a lot of ambition although the fact he hasn't managed outside of the Swiss league may cause some concern.