The next Celtic captain may be a new signing rather than someone already established at the club like Callum McGregor.
That is according to ex-Scottish Premiership striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Celtic confirmed that current captain Scott Brown will leave the club for Aberdeen at the end of the campaign.
McGregor is the current vice-captain and has been widely tipped to replace Brown as skipper when the 35-year-old departs in the summer.
Celtic have been looking for a new manager since Neil Lennon’s resignation in February, with John Kennedy taking temporary charge in the meantime.
Whelan predicts that a summer signing could take the armband as a new manager looks to stamp his authority on the club.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “You wouldn’t be surprised if it was a new signing.
“Managers generally bring in players that they know they can trust. That way, you know what you’re buying. There’s no risk factor because you know what you’re going to get from them.
“The next captain is down to the next manager that comes in. He’s got to assess the players, their characters. That’s what it comes down to.
“It’s not about who’s been at the club the longest, it’s about who’s got the right mentality, that leadership quality that can be that little bit of difference out there on the field.
“You need someone who can encourage players but who can also discipline players when they’re not doing their job. That takes a certain character.
“Scott Brown has always been that person. In the huddle, it was always him talking. Now, you need to find someone else who can be that man, who can rally the troops.”
Brown joined Celtic from Hibs for £4.4million in May 2007.
He has made over 600 appearances since then, winning a stunning 22 titles along the way.