Roy Keane is back in the frame to be the new Celtic manager following developments behind the scenes, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The Irishman, 49, had appeared to slip out of contention for the vacant post in recent weeks but the failure to land Eddie Howe has altered the picture.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Keane has growing support from within the boardroom and he is becoming more prominent in the thoughts of the hierarchy.

There is a feeling that the club need a strong personality to take on the challenge of overhauling a stricken team and unseating new champions Rangers.

Keane was the favourite to be appointed the new Hoops manager nearly a month ago after this site broke the news on Thursday (25th March) that he was in talks with the board after being interviewed that week.

But Celtic moved for Howe and he reached a verbal agreement with the club following discussions in London before having second thoughts.

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It has been reported that Howe is still the frontrunner to replace Neil Lennon as permanent manager and that the Scottish giants could wait until he is ready to return to management in the summer.

Football Insider has been told the former Bournemouth manager would prefer a return to the Premier League.

Howe is on a three-man Palace shortlist along with Sean Dyche and Frank Lampard amid major doubts over Roy Hodgson’s future, and he is also on the radar of Brighton.

The return to the frame of Keane will be regarded as a surprise given the reaction a few weeks when he was the frontrunner.

The question for Celtic chiefs is whether they can put aside concerns about his 10 years in the managerial wilderness.

Some believe more store should be placed in Keane’s football credentials, desire for the battle, three recent spells as assistant manager at Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, as well as Celtic connections.

Keane supported the Hoops as a child and spent the final six months of his playing career at the club.

His former midfield partner at Man United, Nicky Butt, could join him at Celtic as assistant manager after he it was announced he left the English giants last month.

In other news, three senior Celtic men set to leave this week as exodus intensifies.