Of all the journalists in Scotland, there are few who can reliably claim to have a direct line to the inner sanctum of the CEO. Stephen McGowan of the Scottish Daily Mail is one of them, and when he writes about this club of ours its wise to take it seriously.
Today he’s published a piece that confirms talks have been held between the club and Roy Keane; this is the nightmare scenario, of course, for many of us.
What he has done, also, is put a pin in the idea that the Nicky Butt departure from Manchester Utd is part of a package; the take away from that is that this is not yet a “done deal.”
He lists other candidates on the short-list and featured in the promotion for 1xbet odds; Marsch, who most of us dream about but don’t expect, and Wilder, who is underappreciated for someone who has worked miracles at Sheffield United, with a sure hand a knowledge of players down there which we’d struggle to match with a team of scouts.
So he’s not claiming Keane is a certainty.
But Desmond has always liked Keane, and two previous knock-backs and an absence from managerial duties for a decade hasn’t stopped him thinking that Keane has something to offer.
Celtic’s willingness to go there should be a cause for concern on its own.
It’s good that we are looking at a diverse range of candidates, and someone wants that information in the public domain.
But the Keane rumours has been strong for about a week, so somebody already knew we were talking to him and so this has all the hallmarks of a strategic leak aimed at calming people down and asking us to trust in the board.
Do you trust people who think Keane is a possible choice?
Wilder and Marsch are better candidates by far.
Marsch would be the absolute dream pick at this point if we assume we’ve left it too late to entice Martinez, and there was never much realistic prospect of getting Rafa Benitez although, if you parse his comments about wanting to stay in “England” he also says he wants a club where he can win things … that’s a handful of teams down there, and he wouldn’t be the first foreigner to use England and Britain interchangeably.
But more and more, it’s looking like Keane … more and more it’s looking like Desmond will get “his man” at the third attempt after two knockbacks.
I can’t pretend it will please me and I don’t imagine it will please most other fans, but I’m bracing myself for it.
It’s always possible, of course, that Keane will expect too much – total control would be my bet.
It’s possible he will make demands that nobody at Celtic will be willing to meet … he rejected the offer last time on several different points, but one of the key ones is no longer an issue; Lawwell hanging over him like a vulture.
This one just feels different. This one feels like it could happen.