Delia to leave Celtic at the end of the season
Celtic manager Ronny Delia will leave the club at the end of the season, a decision reportedly taken by the Norwegian himself. The news comes following Celtic's defeat on penalties to arch-rivals Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final.
After disappointment in European competition this season, Celtics's domestic performances have been underwhelming although they do look set to claim a fifth consecutive league title. Speculation surrounding Delia's future had been widely discussed in recent weeks but the pressure really started to mount after the Rangers defeat. The 5-4 loss on penalties after a 2-2 draw, ended Celtic's hopes of a league and cup double but the further implications of losing the Old Firm are clear.
Delia arrived from Stormsgodset in his homeland in 2014 and last season guided the club to the title as well as the Scottish League Cup with a victory over Dundee United in the final. However he has opted to step down in the summer after stating "there have been some disappointments and times where we have not achieved what we had hoped for"
The club will now begin the search for his successor with former boss Neil Lennon already going on record to state he would be interested in a return to the club. Lennon was in charge at Celtic Park for four years and departed to the club in 2014 before Delia was confirmed as his replacement. After a spell with Bolton Wanderers in the Championship, Lennon can be found at 7/2 with Bet365 to return to the club with whom he won three league titles in his first spell in charge.
David Moyes is the bookies favourite for the role and taking over at Parkhead could provide him with the ideal opportunity to re-build his career following failed stints at Manchester United and Real Sociedad. Although Moyes is believed to be in the frame to take over at Aston Villa, Paddy Power currently have him at 11/8 to be named as Delia's successor.
Roy Keane, who had a short playing spell with the club, has also been linked as was reported to be amongst the frontrunners for the job in 2014 prior to the Delia's appointment. Celtic are the former Manchester United's captain boyhood club and Keane's affiliation with the green half of Glasgow is clear. Currently the Republic of Ireland assistant manager, the 44-year-old may be tempted for a return to management and Bet365 offer Keane at 13/2.
Other names in the frame include Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, Owen Coyle, Alan Stubbs and Brendan Rodgers.