The Celtic squad could push for John Kennedy to be appointed permanently as manager, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the players should be consulted by Dermot Desmond in the decision-making process.

As revealed by Football Insider, Celtic have opened talks with Roy Keane over the vacant post and he was interviewed earlier this week.

It is understood Nicky Butt has been lined up as assistant manager if the former Republic of Ireland international takes charge.

Kennedy, 37, was handed an interim role following Neil Lennon’s resignation last month.

He has overseen two draws and one win so far, including a 1-1 tie with Rangers.

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However, he has no other managerial experience under his belt to date.

McLeish insisted the Celtic board needed to address the squad for their opinions of a new manager.

He also suggested the players may push for Kennedy to be handed the reins permanently.

Discussing Kennedy’s chances of being appointed, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “If they see enough and get enough feedback from the players in there.

“They might say: ‘Kennedy’s the right man for us Dermot.’ To the other people on the board: ‘We really love working with John and believe he can take us forward.’ 

“You have to get the players’ ears as well. They’ve worked under Lennon, Brendan Rodgers.

“The fact they worked under Brendan, they’ll be looking for those kinds of standards. The players will judge John Kennedy against those legendary names.”


A graduate of the Celtic youth ranks, Kennedy has spent his whole footballing career at Parkhead.

However, he was forced to retire from playing at 26 and was appointed a first-team coach under Ronny Deila.

In other news, Fergal Harkin’s links to Celtic run deeper than first thought, Football Insider can reveal.