HARRY KEWELL edged closer to the Celtic exit when he missed the 3-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park on Boxing Day.

The first-team coach was given time off by the Hoops hierarchy as the Australian legend put the finishing touches to his move to Yokohama F. Marinos.

Ex-Leeds United and Liverpool winger is formalising contract talks with Ange Postecoglou’s former J-League club before his anticipated return to frontline management after joining the Hoops in a backroom capacity in June 2022.

Kewell, 45, had spells as team boss at Barnet, Oldham, Notts County and Crawley Town before being lured to Glasgow by Postecoglou.

BALL BHOY…Harry Kewell watches the Celtic players go through a pre-match routine.

THAT’S MY BHOY…Honduran winger Luis Palma shares the joy with Harry Kewell after his goal against Ross County in Dingwall in November.

The switch is likely to be rubberstamped within days once the one-time touchline ace finalises his backroom staff, according to a report in the Daily Record.

Ironicaly, he was recommednaded for the post by Marinos’ outgoing gaffer Kevin Muscat, a former Socceroos team-mate, who was linked with the Ibrox job in September before Belgian Philippe Clement got the nod.

Kewell has been praised during his stint at the champions and Liel Abada paid tribute to him for the work he did on improving his game during gruelling sessions at Lennoxtown.
Early last month, there was a nice touch from Luis Palma when the Honduran wide Bhoy raced straight to the Celtic dug-out to celebrate with the Aussie after scoring a superb goal in the 3-0 victory over Ross County in Dingwall.
Brendan Rodgers has told Kewell he won’t stand in his way of a return to management in the Japanese top-flight.
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