Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill is unlikely to leave the rebuilding job he’s doing at the club to take charge at Celtic, according to former Premier League and EFL striker Kevin Campbell.
Rangers were confirmed as SPFL champions yesterday after managerless Celtic were held to a 0-0 draw at Dundee United.
Neil Lennon resigned last month and the search for his permanent successor is ongoing, with O’Neill one of multiple current and past EFL bosses linked with taking charge.
90Min reported last week that the Scottish club were considering offering the Northern Irishman the role but it seems they may be disappointed if they do.
Speaking to Football Insider, Campbell claimed that O’Neill would not leave the Potters to take charge at Celtic Park.
He explained: “It’s no surprise to see him linked. He’s been an excellent manager at Stoke.
“But I can’t see him leaving Stoke, just because he’s only just started the rebuild there. You see the difference he’s made there already, from the back end of last season where he had six months to keep them up.
“He did that and this season they are nearer the top than the bottom. He’s definitely made a difference. He likes the project, he likes the owners. I’m not so sure he’d go.
“Would he be interested? I’m sure he’d be interested in it but I think he’s got a project at Stoke to complete so I think he’ll stick to that.”
O’Neill took charge of Stoke in November 2019 with the side bottom of the Championship after the sacking of Nathan Jones.
He steered them clear of relegation and led them to a 15th-place finish last term and looks set to improve on that in the current campaign, with the Potters currently 10th in the table.
O’Neill played in the SPFL as a player and started his management career with Scottish second-tier side Brechin City.
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You can see where Campbell is coming from, O’Neill has worked hard to turn things around at Stoke over the past 18 months or so and he could be reluctant to leave just as it seems he could be set to see the benefits of all his hard work.
That said, Celtic is a massive job and a club that are consistently challenging for silverware and playing in Europe.
A rebuilding job is needed and Steven Gerrard’s Rangers look very strong but the chance to take charge at Celtic Park is still likely an appealing one.
Should the Bhoys come knocking, you’d understand Potters fans being worried that they’ll lose their manager.