The uncertainty over Neil Lennon’s future as Celtic manager may scupper a permanent deal for Mohamed Elyounoussi, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed changes in the boardroom at Parkhead point towards Lennon’s job not being secure.
It was announced at the end of January that long-serving chief executive Peter Lawwell will leave Celtic and retire at the end of the season.
Elyounoussi, Shane Duffy and Diego Laxalt are all on loan at Celtic and Lennon said the club will decide on loaning them again at the end of the season.
As revealed by Football Insider, the Southampton-owned winger was available for a permanent deal for £8million in January, and that price could well reduce ahead of the summer window.
“The issue for me is, is Neil Lennon going to be there at the end of the season?” Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs. “That’s going to be key.
“There are going to be changes in the board, are there going to be changes with Neil Lennon as well?
“They’re not going to win the league and if they finish that far behind Rangers the fans will still be calling for his head. It’s a simple as that.
“It’s not going to be a successful season in the eyes of Celtic fans.
“It’s all well and good having these loan players and talk about signing them but he might not be the manager in charge and it might not be his decision.
“Right now all they can do is try and up their game until the end of the season.
“Even then there might have to be fresh people coming in and are these players you want to keep on their books? That’s a tough decision.
“Yes, fortunes have changed and results have changed a little bit but I think the damage has already been done.”