Celtic are ready to hold talks with John Kennedy to stop him quitting for Hibernian this week, Football Insider understands.

The Glasgow giants are in a battle to keep hold of Neil Lennon’s number two as their SPL rivals work on enticing him to Easter Road to become their new manager.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider the club hierarchy are “desperate” not to lose Kennedy, who is regarded as fundamental to the team’s success.

He is highly regarded by not only the hierarchy and Neil Lennon but also the Hoops players, who recognise how his coaching and attention to detail has been instrumental in their dominance of the Scottish game.

The club regard Kennedy, 36, as a strong candidate to eventually succeed Lennon in the dugout and are in no doubt he is destined for management at some point.

But they don’t want him to quit mid-season amid fears it could lead to similar disruption as when Brendan Rodgers abruptly joined Leicester City at the end of February.

Kennedy is the favourite to become the new Hibs manager and they are ready to make an approach for him.

Rodgers wanted Kennedy to go with him from Celtic, but he stayed put after being assured of his importance at Parkhead and promoted from first-team coach to be assistant manager under Lennon.

The Northern Irishman, who quit playing prematurely due to a knee injury and began pursuing a coaching career in his 20s, has been on the Hoops coaching staff since 2014.

He worked under Ronny Deila and Rodgers before linking up with Lennon.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that a £20,000-a-week Hoops ace is plotting move to QUIT the club and retire.