Celtic fear Crystal Palace could hijack their deal for Eddie Howe, Football Insider understands.

This site revealed early on Friday (2nd April) that Howe had reached a verbal agreement to become the next Hoops manager following talks in London this week.

The Scottish giants are hoping to appoint the former Bournemouth boss early next week as the successor to Neil Lennon.

But Celtic chiefs will not rest easy until Howe puts pen to paper on the contract that is being put together as final issues are ironed out.

A Hoops source has told Football Insider there is concern Palace could ambush their deal with a move on their own for the 43-year-old.

The London club are in the market for a new manager with Roy Hodgson’s contract expiring at the end of the season.

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche has been targeted by Palace and they have already made contact with him, while Howe has also been approached.

Dyche is currently the favourite to replace 73-year-old Hodgson, but Celtic are wary until a contract is signed.

Howe has been given assurances by Desmond and the board there will be funds to revamp a squad that has been left trailing in the wake of champions Rangers this season.

Celtic’s priority has been to appoint a manager with a proven track record in developing and improving players on the training ground, especially young talent.

Howe would fit the bill given his track record at Bournemouth, who he led to a remarkable three promotions and also established them as a Premier League club for five years.

In other news, ex-Old Firm manager backs Celtic striker to sign for Aberdeen after “phone calls with him”.