Former Celtic midfielder Peter Grant has warned Brendan Rodgers to be careful when choosing where to go after Parkhead – because there are few places to match the stature of the Scottish champions.
Aston Villa are understood to have earmarked Rodgers as a candidate to replace Steve Bruce, and the Celtic boss praised the midlands club on Sunday, adding: “You can’t rule me out because I have never been asked.”
Grant played almost 500 games for Celtic during the 1980s and 90s and spent a year at Villa as Alex McLeish’s assistant manager.
The Scotland assistant coach also knows Rodgers well from their time coaching youth players at Reading and he was direct when asked whether he thought the former Liverpool manager would leave for Villa.
“No,” he said.
Grant added: “Anybody that manages Celtic is always going to be attractive to anyone, because to manage Celtic you have to be something different: you have to handle a lot of criticism, a lot of praise, you are under scrutiny 24/7.
“Villa is a Premier League club in the Championship. You can say that, but you have to get back there. I could say that about 20 teams in the Championship, it’s a hell of a difficult league.
“But there is a big expectation, wonderful club with a big fan base, facilities and stadium are magnificent, second to none. It is a big attraction for anyone.
“I can understand 100 per cent people being interested in Brendan, there is no doubt about that. But Celtic is a massive club and there’s not many places you can go when you leave Celtic and still be at a big club.”
Grant previously stated that he could see Rodgers leaving Celtic this year following his frustration over their summer transfer activity – which included missing out on John McGinn to Villa after having several bids rejected by Hibernian.
Grant said: “The bottom line is, I think frustration comes from the fact that you always want to improve. But it’s very, very difficult in the Scottish league and that’s not being disrespectful, because the money they pay now in England is phenomenal.
“There are youth players in England on £24,000 a week and they have never been in a first-team dressing room. You could play 500 games for Celtic and maybe still not be on that. So it is very, very difficult.
“But Brendan will make a football decision, no matter what he does, because that’s the way it is.
“But you’ve got to be very, very careful when you leave a club like Celtic, that’s for sure.”