CELTIC’S major shareholder Dermot Desmond has spoken on the speculation linking Brendan Rodgers with the Arsenal manager’s job.

After 22 years in the job, Arsene Wenger, 68, has announced he will step down from the position a year before his existing contract was due to expire.

According to English-based newspaper reports, the Celtic boss is among the favourites to succeed the Frenchman, alongside Patrick Vieira, who is Wenger’s personal choice, German international gaffer Joachim Low and former Borussia Dortmund chief Thomas Tuchel.

Speaking about the Arsenal link with Rodgers, Desmond said: “I’m glad he’s the favourite. He’s an outstanding person.

“We wouldn’t want him to leave, but we won’t force him to stay. Hopefully, his love for the club and the set-up here will enduce him to stay at the club.”

When asked if the champions would allow the London club to approach Rodgers, Desmond replied: “Absolutely. I don’t think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal.

“It will be Brendan’s decision and his decision only.”

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