It’s actually been quite impressive to see the almighty variation in quality when it comes to managers who have been linked with the Celtic job, but it does feel like any hope of a genuine big-name is slim at best.
Football Insider have been the latest outlet to look at the situation with Eddie Howe and possible alternatives, while they quote Frank McAvennie as saying that Celtic should simply go out and get Rafa Benitez:
“There was talk in the press about Rafa coming up here. He’s another man who wants to run things his own way, it’s why he was run out of Newcastle, [Mike] Ashley wanted to control everything.
“But he’s out of the job so why don’t Celtic just go and get him? He’d be a great manager at Parkhead and he could come now.
“I hope we’ve gone and asked him because if Newcastle can get him, then so can Celtic. It would be huge.”
There’s no doubt that he would be a fantastic appointment for the club, but unfortunately there are just too many reasons why it’s unlikely to happen.
Newcastle United could actually be the job that he’s holding out for again, and that would make sense when you consider that he did enjoy a great relationship with their fans during his tenure.
The problem has always been Mike Ashley, but The Guardian have reported that their Saudi-backed takeover could go through this summer and Rafa is their choice to replace Steve Bruce, so it’s likely that he’s holding out for that job if the takeover actually happens.
McAvennie’s other point about Rafa wanting to run things his own way could also be an issue with Celtic, although it would depend on how the Director of Football appointment goes.
Ideally the club want stability in the structure so the manager can’t be given total control if there’s a chance they’ll leave when a bigger offer comes along, so it’s another reason to think he’s unlikely to be a serious candidate.
You also have to consider that he’s carved out a weird niche of being employed by clubs who are still trying to sort themselves out after Jose Mourinho has left them in a total mess, so there could even be a chance of the Spurs job this summer too.
He would certainly be a brilliant appointment for Celtic, but there’s just no sign of this actually happening.