By Alex Stevens
Dermot Desmond has dropped a major hint that Brendan Rodgers will be appointed Celtic’s new manager within days.
The Scottish club’s biggest individual shareholder described Rodgers as a “great manager” just 24 hours after it emerged he was in advanced talks to become the new boss.
Sky Sports News claimed on Tuesday that the former Liverpool manager, who has now held two rounds of talks with Celtic, is the No1 candidate for the post.
Desmond has now revealed that the club have interviewed over six candidates, and has admitted that Rodgers is one of the sextet.
“We’re excited about the managers we’ve interviewed and we’ve discussed and hopefully in the next few days we will decide, usually with a manager, and enter negotiations,” said Desmond, as quoted by the BBC website.
“There’s lots of people, I wouldn’t speculate on who is the person at this point in time.”
Asked if Rodgers was one of those interviewed, Desmond replied: “I can’t tell a lie.
“He’s a great manager, he’s proved it at Liverpool and I think he’s a worthy candidate for Celtic – as all the other candidates are.”
Chief executive Peter Lawwell said last week the process of finding Deila’s replacement had started in earnest and there is a growing likelihood the board will reach a decision before the end of this month.
Deila, who bowed out with a resounding 7-0 win over Motherwell on Sunday, announced last month he was standing down after two seasons despite leading the Hoops to their fifth successive title.
Asked last week when he expected an announcement to be made, Lawwell told the Scotland Herald: “It won’t be for another week or two, I would have thought. We have just started the process.
“We will get the best man available who wants to come to Scotland. We have strengths and weaknesses, but we need to get in the best and get the fans back. I hope that’s what we do.”
The chief executive has made it clear in a series of interviews this week that Celtic will hand no more than a £10million warchest to their new manager in the summer transfer window.
There have been calls for the newly-crowned Scottish champions to spend £20million on new players in a bid to reach the Champions League group stages.
But Parkhead chief executive Lawwell insisted the club will not spend beyond their means and take on debt.