Noel Whelan has claimed Celtic could have forced Eddie Howe’s hand to take charge amid fears Crystal Palace could hijack their pursuit.
The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Hoops have a “hell of a lot of work” to do as they seek out a new manager.
As revealed by Football Insider, Celtic fear Roy Hodgson’s impending departure could now see the Eagles push to lure Howe to Selhurst Park.
The Hoops had hoped to appoint the 43-year-old as soon as Bournemouth’s promotion push from the Championship was complete.
The Cherries beat Brentford 1-0 in their play-off semi-final, with the final scheduled for next Saturday.
Whelan insisted the Hoops needed a new manager on board as soon as possible ahead of a “massive” summer.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “It just sums up the whole season. It’s been very misguided, scruffy and this saga is scruffy.
“It doesn’t look like a club that’s in a really healthy position, getting things done the right way. I’m sure they would have loved to have it been done. Surely you could have forced the hand of a manager to come in.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done at that club and that’s the problem. Yes, you got to finish second this season but miles away from Rangers who look like they’re sitting in heaven right now, the way their club is run.
“That is where they need to be aiming for. A technical director needs to be in place, a manager needs to be in place.
“There’s a hell of a lot of work that needs to be done at that football club in terms of getting out players, buying players and changing their dimension of that football club in the board and the way that the waves run
“There’s a lot of work to be done at that football club. I think the league table tells the story. Then to get a manager in two weeks after the season’s done, that’s two weeks of massive work that needs to be done. It’s going to be tough for them.”
Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth in August last year.
Meanwhile, Celtic have not had a permanent manager since Neil Lennon stepped down in February.
In the latest news, Celtic have been told to sign EFL dazzler after he handed in transfer request.