Former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou is on the verge of a historic meeting with bookies setting him up as a favorite to take over Scottish giants Celtic. It would be an important meeting for the 55-year-old, who won the Asian Cup with Australia in 2015 and the J-League title with Yokohama F. Marinos in 2019.
Several UK bookmakers have placed Postecoglou at the top of the market to take over at Parkhead after a deal to appoint former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe failed on Friday. Howe was set to win the race to replace Neil Lennon, but the club confirmed on Friday that the deal was canceled.
“We can now confirm that Eddie will not join the club, for reasons beyond his control and that of Celtic,” the club said in a statement. Club bosses insist they are in advanced talks with another candidate and hope to make an appointment soon.
Postecoglou, who is currently the head coach of J-League team Yokohama F. Marinos, has been named the new frontrunner for the post by SkyBet and Betfair.
If Postecoglou is the next manager it would be a huge date for an Australian coach. Kevin Muscat and Tony Popovic recently had brief stints in Belgium and Greece, respectively, but Australians have regularly struggled to land and keep leadership positions in Europe. Despite this, Postecoglou, a two-time A-League championship winner with Brisbane Roar, has already announced his intention to stay abroad for the rest of his career.
Celtic have won the Scottish League title 51 times, the Scottish Cup 40 times and were the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967. Australia has a long association with the club, with current Socceroo Tom Rogic currently in their books, while Mark Viduka, Scott McDonald and Daniel Arzani are others to have worn their famous rimmed shirts.
Besides Postecoglou, Scotland boss Steve Clarke, current interim manager John Kennedy and former Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre have also been linked with the vacant post.