Kevin Campbell says ex-Roma boss Paulo Fonseca could be a good alternative for Celtic if a deal for Eddie Howe can’t be finalised.
The former Arsenal and Everton striker was speaking to Football Insider.
Fonseca will be leaving Roma this season on the expiry of his contract.
He led them to fifth in his first year but they look set to finish outside the top six this time around.
They did reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, having beaten Braga, Fonseca’s former club Shakhtar Donetsk and Ajax, but a 6-2 defeat against Manchester United in the first leg put paid to their ambitions.
It was revealed on The Transfer Window Podcast last week that Celtic have been linked with Fonseca after he expressed an interest in the managerial role, vacant since Neil Lennon’s departure at the end of February. That follows previous reports from The Daily Record citing Fonseca as a possible alternative target.
The Glasgow outfit reached a verbal agreement with Eddie Howe early in April, but haven’t been able to get that deal over the line as of yet.
Campbell expressed his confidence that Fonseca ‘could do a job’ at Parkhead and says he knows how to coach young players.
“Fonseca is a good manager,” he said.
“There was big talk about him coming to the Premier League and Celtic a few years ago.
“That didn’t work out and he went to Roma instead.
“He is definitely a manager who could do a job at Celtic but Eddie Howe could as well.
“They both know their football and work well with younger players.
“That Shakhtar team he had was really good, that’s how he made his name.”
Fonseca looks to be a decent outside candidate for the Parkhead gig. As this report from The Athletic notes, he’s faced a ‘tough situation’ at the Stadio Olimpico amid a ‘difficult restructure’ off the field, so he shouldn’t necessarily be written off based on the disappointing end to his tenure in the Italian capital.
Howe surely remains the man Celtic want given the sheer volume of media noise about his possible arrival, and that appointment would likely generate genuine excitement among supporters, but Fonseca has plenty of plaudits.
Indeed, Fonseca’s Shakhtar side were drawn to Manchester City’s Champions League group in consecutive years between 2017 and 2019, and Pep Guardiola himself was amazed by their setup, via The Times: “Before every game against Shakhtar, I have the same feeling – the first time we face them in the group stage, my (scouting) team went to see them and they came back saying ‘wow’.
“They were really impressed. In Barcelona all the time it was, ‘Shakhtar, Ukraine, who cares which players play, nobody knows them.’
“I can assure you it was one of the best teams in terms of playing football. It was so tough for me. For Barcelona, Bayern, we had good results but it was tough. I have a lot of respect for them.”
Fonseca did indeed shock Guardiola later that year as the Premier League champions elect lost 2-1 in Ukraine, via Soccerway.
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