Celtic legend Charlie Nicholas has urged the club to ‘show a bit of ambition’ in their search for Neil Lennon’s replacement, suggesting that Xavi should be on the shortlist.
Lennon tendered his resignation last week with the club’s title defence in disarray, leaving John Kennedy to take the reins until the end of the season.
Nicholas underwhelmed by early favourites Maresca and Clarke
Former West Ham assistant Enzo Maresca and Scotland boss Steve Clarke are the current favourites for the full-time job at Parkhead, but Nicholas reckons they should be aiming instead for iconic figures.
Spain legend Xavi, who left FC Barcelona with more than 750 appearances and 27 major honours under his belt (via Transfermarkt), is currently in charge at Qatari side Al Sadd.
The Catalan giants are said to be keen for Xavi to take over from Ronald Koeman in the near future (via ESPN).
Kompany, Alonso also tipped
Nicholas has high-profile alternatives in mind if Xavi makes a swift return to the Camp Nou instead.
“Celtic should be speaking to the agents of Xavi, Vincent Kompany and Xabi Alonso to gauge their interest in the job,” he wrote in his Daily Express column (via Glasgow Live).
“I just want the club to ask the question and show a bit of ambition. If they don’t they will appoint someone like Roy Keane or Steve Clarke.”
Transfer Tavern verdict
Xavi is destined for Barca and may not have time to stop at Parkhead along the way – the emphatic 4-1 Champions League defeat to PSG added to the sense that Koeman’s days are numbered.
But in principle, Nicholas is still hitting the right notes. Celtic must appoint a manager befitting of their stature, as Rangers have done with Steven Gerrard.
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