Paul Lambert is in the frame for the Celtic manager job despite distancing himself from the post earlier this week, Football Insider understands.
The Hoops legend, 51, told Rangers idol Barry Ferguson on Go Radio nothing would convince him to take the post made vacant last week by Neil Lennon’s exit.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Lambert’s private stance is different to his public one and he would actually be interested in the position.
As a result, the former midfielder is set to be among those interviewed for the manager’s position at the next stage of the club’s search.
The Celtic hierarchy value Lambert’s strong connections to the club where he spent eight years as a player and is highly regarded by supporters.
He has been keen to not push publicly for the job after his Ipswich Town reign ended last week in miserable circumstances with the club struggling to get out of League One.
Lambert knows his recent record will not be seen as especially impressive, although he believes he did better than results suggest at Ipswich, Stoke City, Wolves, Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa.
He is an experienced manager with nine spells across 16 years after learning his trade at Livingston.
Lambert has taken on some high-pressure jobs before but his greatest achievements were consecutive promotions at Norwich City in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Celtic are currently sifting through potential candidates and weighing up the market.
John Kennedy has been handed the role on an interim basis until the end of the season and remains the bookmakers’ odds-on favourite to replace Lennon permanently.
Lennon resigned as Celtic manager Wednesday of last week before he was sacked by the club.