Chris Sutton has claimed Neil Lennon will walk away from the Celtic manager’s job if the club do not back him with sufficient funds this summer.
Writing in his weekly Daily Record column, the Hoops idol insisted the northern Irishman is devoted to Celtic but he is no “patsy” and will not take the permanent role if it is not right.
Sutton’s view is that owner Dermot Desmond and chief executive Peter Lawwell have to convince Lennon as must as the other way round.
“If you think him becoming the next permanent Celtic manager is down purely to whether or not Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell want to give him it, I would be willing to bet you are wrong,” Sutton said.
“Everyone thinks he will just jump at the chance to be the next boss and is walking around day on day waiting for the call from the hierarchy to confirm him in the post to succeed to Brendan Rodgers.
“If he is, it’s not the Neil Lennon I know. And I believe there is much more to this than Celtic just snapping their fingers and he comes running.
“Celtic need a massive rebuild. He’s said it himself in public and he’ll have said it to Desmond and Lawwell.
“It’s going to take big backing and major moves in the transfer market this summer looking ahead to next season and the Neil I know isn’t going to be anyone’s patsy.”
Football Insider verdict:
This is great insight from Sutton, who knows Lennon well and has a good handle on the machinations of the club he represented so effectively and for so long. The widespread view is that the north Irishman is fortunate to have been thrust into a situation where he has the reins for a second time and is in the hotseat with a treble treble firmly on the cards. Critics claim Lennon is simply benefitting from the foundations that were so shrewdly laid by Rodgers before he hotfooted it back south of the border when he felt his work was done. That is a simplistic verdict and one that absolves Lennon of any credit. He has been smart enough to put his ego to one side and not alter too much what has worked so successfully for the past three seasons in particular. Desmond and Lawwell are in a tricky situation and if they do not handle it well, they risk losing the man best placed to work within the restrictions of the club and steer them to 10-in-a-row.
In other Celtic transfer news, it can be REVEALED that a recent mainstay of the matchday squad has been told to find a new club.