Next Celtic manager: Five candidates

Sports Mole takes a look at some of the likely candidates to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic.

Thursday afternoon saw the surprising departure of Neil Lennon from Celtic, as the manager decided to end his reign in Glasgow. His four years at the club was often tumultuous off the pitch, but ever successful on it, with Scottish Premiership titles arriving with ease as well as a historic win over Barcelona in the Champions League.

Talk about who will replace him has already started, with pundits and players alike all having had their say. Here, Sports Mole rounds up five of the most likely candidates.

1. Henrik Larsson - Odds: 2/1

Former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson was initially installed as the favourite as short as 1/3 in some places, but over the day his odds gradually shortened. The current Falkenbergs FF manager is still the favourite, but has been coy on the links so far, saying that he is enjoying his role in Sweden at the moment. Whether his comments are just to ensure that he does not seem too keen or he is genuinely distancing himself remains to be seen, but he will stay a strong contender for sure.

Henrik Larsson prior to kick-off during the Champions League match between Celtic and Barcelona on February 12, 2013© Getty Images

2. David Moyes - Odds: 7/2

David Moyes left Manchester United at the end of the season after a very disappointing spell in charge. The fact that he is Scottish and started his playing career at the club have seen his odds shorten since the job became available, with even a reported assault investigation not hampering his chances according to the bookies. However, with a probable healthy payout from United Moyes may well see no rush to return to management and a trip back across the border is unlikely to be his best option.

Man United manager David Moyes prior to kick-off against Newcastle on December 7, 2013© Getty Images

3. Malky Mackay - Odds: 4/1

An interesting outside bet could be Malky Mackay, who emerged as a contender quite late on Thursday night. A very successful manager at Championship level, things did not quite go right for him with Cardiff City in the Premier League. Although a return to the club that he played for for five years would be an offer he would have to consider, he more than likely would think that he has unfinished business in the Premier League. He is likely not to rush into a decision, which could see the Celtic job bypass him.

4. Owen Coyle - Odds: 4/1

The only person on this list not to have played for Celtic, Owen Coyle has gained strong experience in the top two tiers in England. His teams play exciting, attacking football, which will please the purists at Celtic Park. Things have never quite worked out for him in England, with a disappointing start to the Championship with Wigan Athletic his most recent attempt. He could be a good candidate to return to Scotland to gain some success.

Wigan Athletic manager Owen Coyle prior to kick-off against Doncaster on August 20, 2013© Getty Images

5. Jackie McNamara - Odds: 7/1

The former Celtic captain, who played 255 league games for the club, is at surprisingly long odds of 7/1. He seems to fit the bill for a Celtic manager: a former player who has succeeded at a lower level in Scotland, before making the step up to the Premiership. Although he only joined his current club Dundee United in 2013, moving to Celtic looks to be the natural progression in his career. Whether the club are ready to take the gamble on a manager with only a few years of experience could be the main issue, but McNamara has a good claim.

Henrik Larsson prior to kick-off during the Champions League match between Celtic and Barcelona on February 12, 2013
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