Celtic need their own Steven Gerrard at the helm – and a young manager like Eddie Howe would be a good fit.

That is according to ex-Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the need for a young manager with fresh ideas and excellent man-management qualities.

Gerrard’s Rangers have dominated the Scottish Premiership this season and are set to end Celtic’s hopes of 10 consecutive league titles over the coming weeks.

The Bhoys’ disappointing performances saw Lennon step down from his post last week, with John Kennedy put in charge as caretaker boss.

As revealed by Football Insider, Celtic are making initial enquiries for a replacement and have approached Eddie Howe.

Whelan has suggested a younger manager like Howe, 43, is a must and pointed to the other half of Glasgow as a prime example.

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Asked what Celtic needed in their new manager, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: I look at Steven Gerrard. He’s young, he’s fresh, he’s got a new approach, he’s a hands-on manager.

“I love it what Steven Gerrard’s done, that’s no fluke. That is someone that knows his stuff and gets the best out his players.

“He’s very newly out of playing football so he knows what it’s like, he’s worked under good managers.

“He’s also a good man-manager and that’s the key these days, man-managing the players. If you’re young enough and strong enough, that’s probably 75 per cent of the game these days.

“There’s a lot of players out there that are a little bit softer than what they used to be. They need an arm around the shoulder more than they need a rollicking.

“I think man-management now is key, but I think fresh ideas as well. It doesn’t have to be an experienced manager, look at Steven Gerrard. Look at Frank Lampard when he came in, I thought he was unfairly dismissed at Chelsea.

“You’ve got to start looking a little bit younger, a little bit fresher like Eddie Howe. New ideas, new approach, new way of training.”

In other news, the Celtic manager hunt has hit a stumbling block after McKay news emerges.