Former Southampton boss Mark Wotte has warned Celtic against letting Eddie Howe bring Bournemouth technical director Richard Hughes with him to the Scottish club.
Recent reports have suggested that Howe is in talks with the Bhoys over becoming Neil Lennon’s permanent successor but that one of his terms is that Hughes is installed as the club’s director of football.
Celtic are actively recruiting at that position and the 41-year-old had success alongside Howe at Bournemouth but it seems it’s not a move that everyone is convinced by.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Wotte – who has more than 30 years of experience in management and previously worked as the Scottish FA’s performance director – warned the Glasgow club against Hughes’ potential arrival.
He said: “Look, it’s legitimate for Eddie Howe to ask for a director of football in the hope there’s a level of confidentiality and trust between the roles.
“I see his point bringing more support by his side as he comes in to this huge Scottish club where he’ll want to work his way.
“But from a club point of view, it’s the wrong way around. Celtic should appoint a director of football who helps pick the manager and is a long-term appointment independent of the manager.
“A club needs to feel comfortable with its director of football because the manager, as Brendan Rodgers showed us, can leave at any time if a more attractive job comes up.
“And if the head coach loses eight games in a row, the director of football should take the best decision for the club – and not for the manager.
“What if, after Brendan Rodgers, Leicester wants Eddie Howe? Then he could take Hughes with him.”
It seems Celtic may have to wait for the arrival of their new manager as it was reported yesterday that Howe will not take a new job until the summer.
The 43-year-old has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth after their relegation last season and it is understood that though he is the Scottish club’s preferred choice, suggestions that he is close to taking charge are wide of the mark.
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Wotte makes a strong point here.
You’d question whether it’s right for a club the size of Celtic to bow to Howe’s demands and let an incoming manager make a decision as big as selecting the next director of football.
The Hoops were stung by Rodgers’ exit and should Howe and Hughes both join, there would clearly be worries about losing the pair should a bigger opportunity arise.
That said, the former Bournemouth boss does seem like an ideal fit given the rebuilding job needed at Celtic and if Hughes is deemed ready for the role then bringing in someone with a strong relationship and experience of prior success with an incoming manager could be beneficial.
It’s a tough call for the Hoops.