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Two possible replacements for Brendan Rodgers at Celtic – including this former Hoops superstar

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Two possible replacements for Brendan Rodgers at Celtic

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers finds himself under immense pressure following their 2-0 defeat to RB Leipzig in the UEFA Europa League earlier this week.

The defeat ruined the Hoops’ chances of making it beyond the group stages as they now sit third in their group and are three points behind second-placed RB Leipzig and six below leaders RB Salzburg.

Their struggles in Europe, coupled with their scratchy start to defending their Scottish Premiership title, have placed Rodgers under intense pressure to turn things around.

There are concerns that the interest in him from Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Leicester City (h/t The Sun) may turn his head. If the Hoops fail to recover from their current predicament soon, the club might consider letting go of the manager and should that happen, here are two candidates who would be ideal to replace him.

David Moyes

Currently without a job after saving West Ham United from relegation in the Premier League last season, David Moyes should be a name that the Bhoys consider in case Rodgers leaves. The Scotsman’s recent managerial stints haven’t been all too memorable, given his well-documented struggles at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

But last season, he played a crucial role in turning around the fortunes of West Ham. Having been brought in to replace Slaven Bilic with the club mired in a relegation battle, the 55-year-old guided the East Londoners to a respectable 13th finish. A vastly experienced manager with great knowledge of the game, Moyes has shown that he has the tools to build strong and solid teams on a tight budget.

The fact that he spent three years with Celtic during his playing time should also help his case. He may have not won any silverware apart from the FA Community Shield with Manchester United but Rodgers too hadn’t done so until he took over at Celtic. He might not prove to be the most popular appointment at first, but surely, he has the pedigree to take Celtic to greater heights.

Neil Lennon

After enjoying a distinguished career as a player at Celtic between 2001 and 2007, the 47-year-old Lennon went on to manage the Hoops for four years since taking over in March 2010. During his time in charge, Lennon won three Scottish Premiership titles and two Scottish Cups. In total, he picked up 159 victories from 227 matches while losing 39.

After leaving Parkhead, the Northern Irishman had a stint in the English Championship with Bolton Wanderers which did not prove much of a success. However, having returned to Scotland with Hibernian FC in 2016, Lennon has proven to be a big success again.

The 47-year-old led the Hibs to the Scottish championship title in his first season in charge, leading them to a promotion to the Premiership. Subsequently, he led them to the 4th place in the top tier last time out. His team is 6th in the table this term, just two points off 3rd-placed Celtic. The kind of attacking football that the Hibs have been playing under him as earned praises from all quarters this term.

Read More: RB Leipzig 2-0 Celtic: The Hoops fizzle out despite making strong start to the game

Someone who knows the club in and out, having spent over 11 years at Celtic Park as a player and then a manager, Lennon should be a prime candidate to take over if Rodgers either leaves or is sacked.

Bournemouth

Forget Edouard- Celtic should not think twice about signing this £10m-rated PL striker and here is why

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Celtic Opinion: Lys Mousset could be a massive coup for the Hoops

According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are interested in signing £10 million-rated Bournemouth striker Lys Mousset, who is keen to complete a move away from the south coast in search of more regular minutes.

The Scottish Sun understands that Celtic are reluctant to smash their club-record fee to secure the services of the 23-year-old out-of-favour Bournemouth striker but the Hoops are looking at a player-plus-cash deal to bring the Frenchman to Parkhead.

Born in Montivilliers, France, to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Lys Mousset rose through the youth ranks at Ligue 2 club Le Havre and shot to prominence with 14 goals in 35 appearances for the second-tier outfit.

His prolific form in his homeland earned him a move to the Premier League with Bournemouth, who paid €7.3 million to bring the talented youngster to English football.

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Despite all his promise and potential, Mousset has struggled for regular minutes under manager Eddie Howe due to the presence of more established strikers like Callum Wilson and Joshua King. The 23-year-old has made a total of 71 appearances for the Cherries in all competitions till date, scoring on 5 occasions.

That looks like an incredibly poor scoring record for any striker but Mousset is hardly to blame for those numbers. As a matter of fact, only 8 of his 58 appearances in the Premier League have been starts, while others have just been cameos off the bench.

And with the likes of Wilson and King performing at the peak of their powers, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better for Mousset on the south coast.

To put things into perspective, Mousset remains an immensely-talented youngster but his development has stalled at Bournemouth and a move to Celtic would offer him the chance to restart his career. Celtic, on the other hand, should relish getting a promising attacker like Mousset on board in the summer transfer window, although the Hoops might struggle to meet Bournemouth’s valuation.

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Celtic went down 2-0 to Rangers in the Old Firm derby last Sunday but the Hoops are well and truly on course to securing their 8th straight domestic title.

They also have a chance of completing a third successive domestic treble if they manage to beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final towards the end of the month. Celtic’s dominance has reigned supreme in Scottish football for almost a decade now, but as well all know, there is no room for complacency in football.

The potential departure of players like Filip Benkovic, Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Cristian Gamboa should prompt the Hoops to dip into the transfer window for defensive reinforcements.

However, they also have a few bases to cover as far as their options in the attacking third are concerned. Odsonne Edouard has enjoyed another prolific season but they need to bring in replacements for departing loanees Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke.

Leigh Griffiths has been out of the game since late last year, while January recruit Vakoun Issouf Bayo is not really in the frame at the moment.

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Someone like Lys Mousset can help reduce the goalscoring burden on Edouard, while also adding depth to the squad and increasing competition for places.

The 23-year-old has good pace and flair on the ball and is more than capable of outsmarting the opposition with his sharpness, trickery and intelligent movement in the final third.

He moves the ball around quickly, creates his own space and occupies the defenders, meaning that he could add a lot of value to Celtic’s attack.

To Read More Celtic News, Click Here:- Latest Celtic News

Mousset, a former youth international for France, has potential and he just needs to play more regularly to take his game to the next level.

The Hoops should take a lesson from how young French strikers like Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard evolved into prolific scorers in the Scottish Premiership and Lys Mousset could be the next in line.

Hence, the Hoops should not hesitate to splash the cash on the talented Bournemouth star and it should be a win-win deal for all parties concerned.

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Celtic

Celtic raiding Chelsea to sign this 24-year-old wall would be the ideal solution to strengthening their backline

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Celtic Opinion: Fikayo Tomori would be a wonderful signing for the Hoops

According to the Daily Record, Celtic are weighing up a move for Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori, who is currently on loan at Derby County in the Championship.

The Daily Record understands that Tomori’s consistently impressive performances in the Championship have impressed Celtic and the Hoops want to bring him to Parkhead this summer, although it is still unclear whether they want a loan agreement or a permanent deal for the youngster.

Tomori has been one of the architects of Derby County’s successful season in the Championship this term, playing a key role in the Rams surge to the finals of the playoffs.

The 21-year-old has been an ever-present for Frank Lampard’s side at the heart of the defence alongside Richard Keogh, making a total of 54 appearances for the Rams in all competitions this season.

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The Canada-born centre-back has earned rave reviews for his incredible performances at Pride Park and Daily Record claims that Derby are keen to turn his loan deal into a permanent move.

That, however, would solely depend on whether or not they manage to make it to the Premier League by beating Aston Villa in the playoff final at Wembley.

Born in Calgary, Canada, to parents of Nigerian descent, Tomori moved to England at a very young age and rose through the youth ranks at Chelsea before making his Premier League debut for the Blues against Leicester City in the 2015-16 season.

However, that remains his only appearance for Chelsea till date and he has been farmed out to Brighton, Hull City and Derby County over the past three seasons.

Standing at 6ft. 1 inch with a stocky frame, Tomori cannot be classified as a towering or a gigantic centre-back but he has impressed a lot with his wonderful tackling skills and sound game-reading ability.

An aggressive defender by nature, Tomori has gradually learnt to use that aspect of his game to his advantage, showing plenty of maturity in terms of composure and decision-making.

To add to that, Tomori is also blessed with the ball-playing qualities of a modern-day centre-back, which not only allows him to be comfortable in possession but also play it out from the back and switch the play with long balls.

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Despite not being the tallest of centre-backs, Tomori knows how to use his physicality to outmuscle the opposition and win headers inside the box. The 21-year-old averaged 2.2 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 3.9 clearances and 2.8 aerial duels per game in the Championship, whilst also boasting of a pass accuracy rate of 82.7.

The youngster has progressed by leaps and bounds on his loan spell at Derby and it would be fair to say that he is ready to play a part in Chelsea’s first-team.

However, it is unlikely that he would get a serious look in at Stamford Bridge next season, with the likes of David Luiz, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger performing at the peak of their powers.

To put things into perspective, Celtic could possibly strike gold by securing the services of Fikayo Tomori in the summer, although the Hoops might need to break the bank if they are really considering a permanent deal for the youngster.

Neil Lennon needs to start looking at potential defensive reinforcements ahead of the summer transfer window, with Dedryck Boyata out of contract and Filip Benkovic still unsure whether to return to Leicester or stay on loan at Parkhead for another season.

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Norwegian centre-back Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic have done reasonably well but one cannot help but feel that Celtic need at least another defender in their ranks to maintain the perfect balance.

Celtic lost 2-0 to Rangers in the Old Firm derby last Sunday but the Hoops are on the verge of claiming their 8th straight domestic title, while a victory over Hearts in the Scottish Cup final towards the end of the month would see them bag a third successive domestic treble.

To Read More Celtic News, Click Here:- Latest Celtic News

However, the Hoops should be open to investing in talented youngsters and Fikayo Tomori is certainly a player with a mountain of potential. To conclude, Celtic could have a gem in their hands if they manage to strike a deal for the 21-year-old English youth international this summer.

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Celtic

Oliver Burke to lead the line ahead of Edouard? – Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic XI to face Heart of Midlothian

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Celtic FC vs Heart of Midlothian Predictions: Celtic FC Line-up

Scottish champions Celtic will take on Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park in their final Scottish Premiership game of the season on Sunday afternoon.

The Hoops have already won the Scottish Premiership title and the Scottish League Cup this season, and have reached the final of the Scottish Cup, where they’ll face Hearts next weekend.

A win for Hearts at Celtic Park will give them a much-needed confidence boost ahead of the Scottish Cup final.

Team News

Odsonne Edouard, Jonny Hayes and Mikael Lustig are likely to miss the game against Hearts on Sunday. Dedryck Boyata and Ryan Christie are already sidelined with injury.

Probable Celtic XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Manager: Neil Lennon

Scott Bain (GK)

Bain has been Celtic’s no.1 since the turn of the year and that won’t change on Sunday.

Anthony Ralston (RB)

With Lustig out injured, Ralston could be handed a rare start at right-back.

Jozo Simunovic (CB)

Simunovic has done very well in the last few games and is set to keep his place in Celtic’s defence.

Kristoffer Ajer (CB)

Ajer has been a regular at the back for the Hoops in the last couple of months. He is a certain starter against Hearts.

Jeremy Toljan (LB)

Toljan has disappointed since joining on loan from Dortmund in January. However, he is expected to start at left-back.

Olivier Ntcham (CM)

Lennon could hand Ntcham a start ahead of Brown in the middle of the park at the weekend. If that happens, the Frenchman should look to repay the manager’s faith.

Callum McGregor (CM)

Celtic’s best player of the season, McGregor is an undoubted starter in the final league game of the season.

James Forrest (RW)

With his pace and dribbling skills, Forrest could give the Hearts defenders a tough time at Celtic Park.

Tom Rogic (CAM)

Rogic has endured an injury-hit campaign which has affected his productivity for the Hoops. Now fully fit, though, he will start in his preferred no.10 role against Hearts.

To Read More Celtic FC News, Click Here:- Latest Celtic FC News

Scott Sinclair (LW)

Sinclair has blown hot and cold throughout the season for Celtic. However, he’ll look to finish the campaign on a high.

Oliver Burke (ST)

With Edouard out injured, Burke will be his natural replacement for the no.9 role.

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