Former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou is on the verge of an historic appointment with bookies installing him as favourite to take charge of Scottish giants Celtic. It would be a significant appointment 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 put Postecoglou at the front of the market to take over at Parkhead following the collapse of a deal to appoint ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe on Friday. Howe was expected to win the race to replace Neil Lennon but the club confirmed on Friday the deal was off.
“We can now confirm that Eddie will not be joining the club, for reasons outwith both his and Celtic’s control,” 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 favourite for the position by SkyBet and Betfair.
If Postecoglou is the next manager, it would be a huge appointment for an Australian coach. Kevin Muscat and Tony Popovic recently had brief spells in Belgium and Greece respectively but Australians have regularly struggled to land, and hold, managerial roles in Europe. Despite that, Postecoglou, a two-time A-League championship winner with Brisbane Roar, has previously announced his intention to stay overseas for the rest of his career.
Celtic have won the Scottish League title 51 times, the Scottish Cup on 40 occasions and were the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967. Australia has had a long association with the club, with current Socceroo Tom Rogic currently on their books, while Mark Viduka, Scott McDonald and Daniel Arzani are others to have worn their famous hooped shirt.
As well as Postecoglou, Scotland boss Steve Clarke, current caretaker manager John Kennedy and ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre have also been linked to the vacancy.