Noel Whelan has backed Celtic to move for Bournemouth’s Richard Hughes as their new director of football if Eddie Howe is appointed manager.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Hoops needed to consult their new manager over who to bring in as Nicky Hammond’s replacement.
As revealed on Friday, Howe has verbally agreed to take charge of Celtic after face-to-face talks with Dermot Desmond.
Former Scotland international Hughes took on his current role in 2014.
The Glasgow-born 41-year-old worked alongside Howe to get the Cherries to the Premier League.
Whelan insisted appointing the right man as Hammond’s replacement was crucial.
As such, he suggested a familiar face like Hughes would help Howe hit the ground running at Parkhead.
Asked if he thought Hughes would be a good appointment, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Yeah. It’s always nice to be working alongside someone that you’ve already worked with where you have that relationship and have been successful together in jobs.
“Sometimes, if it’s fresh and it’s a new person, you’ve got to try to hit the ground running. You need to build that relationship very quickly to get the ball rolling at a football club.
“You’ve got to make sure that the two people fit together and work together in a good relationship. If he did go, and it sounds like he’s going back home if he’s from Glasgow, that really kind of makes sense.
Head of Football Operations, Nick Hammond, has resigned from his position at the Club to pursue new opportunities.
All the best for the future, Nick 🍀
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) March 31, 2021
“I think they’ve got to take Eddie Howe’s opinion on board as well when they’re choosing the technical director.
“It can’t just be about the board. They’ve got to listen to the manager. At the end of the day, the manager will be working very closely alongside him.”