Celtic have put out feelers to former boss Martin O’Neill in a surprise new manager twist.
But the former Hoops boss has indicated he does not want a sensational return to Parkhead at this stage.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club have made discreet overtures behind the scenes to assess the managerial landscape following a damaging set of results that threatens to leave their season in ruins.
O’Neill’s name has been mentioned and he is the favourite with many bookmakers to replace under-fire Neil Lennon.
However, the 68-year-old is not looking to return to the club he managed with huge success for five years until he left in 2005.
O’Neill won three league titles, three Scottish Cups and a League Cup at Celtic and also took the club to their second-ever European final, which they lost to Porto.
The club have stood by Lennon but his future is set to be discussed again by the board after Sunday’s 1-1 home draw against Ross County.
He has been left on the brink after humiliating exits from the Europa League and Scottish League Cup, as well as a Scottish Premiership run that has seen them slip 13 points behind Rangers with two matches in hand.
Hoops powerbrokers Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell have stood by Lennon despite mounting calls from supporters for Lennon to be dismissed.
Celtic released a statement last week calling for unity but the pressure to act has reached new levels as the team’s season continues to unravel.
This site exclusively revealed two Fridays ago that Celtic intended to stand by Lennon, barring a dreadful run of results, up until the Old Firm crunch against Rangers on 2 January.
This was partly because the board of directors do not believe there is an “outstanding” alternative available to replace Lennon.
That explains why they have discussed the possibility of a return for O’Neill, whose last spell in management came during a short spell in charge of Nottingham Forest last year.