EDDIE HOWE could be in a Celtic Park dug-out next season.

The manager who was pursued as the Hoops searched for a long-term replacement for Neil Lennon in the summer of 2021 could at last land at Parkhead.

The Celtic hierarchy, of course, dropped their interest in the former Bournemouth boss after two months of talks and frustrating delays to switch their attention to Ange Postecoglou – and no-one will ever complain about that turn of events.

UP FOR THE CUP…Ange Postecoglou and the triumphant Celtic players celebrate their 2-1 League Cup Final win over Ibrox opposition at Hampden in February.

However, the gaffers could come face to face in the Champions League in the new campaign after Howe led Newcastle United into Europe’s elite competition for the first time in 20 years with a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Postecoglou is quick to praise the Englishman for what he has achieved at St James’s Park and says: “I absolutely admire the job Eddie has done at Newcastle.

“You can see why this football club wanted him to take charge here.

“He’s a very impressive person, as well as a manager. He has done an unbelievable job and I also felt he did a great job at Bournemouth.

“Eddie’s worked his way up, he has done all the hard bits you need to do as a manager. It’s great for Eddie and for Newcastle that they are back in the Champions League.”

IN THE SHADOW OF JOCK STEIN…Ange Postecoglou addresses the Celtic fans at Parkhead following the second successive title victory after the 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle on May 7.

It’s an intriguing prospect of the managers pitting their wits against each other in Europe’s top tournament and Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “Yeah, that would be nice.

“Knowing the passions of both sets of supporters, those would be two games nobody would want to miss. The Champions League is where you want to be involved.

“It’s going to be exciting again and right now, you are ticking off the champions in each league and seeing who else is getting the spots.

“Once the season is over, we will start looking at potential draws. No matter who we get, you can guarantee it will be another exciting draw for us.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Hibs v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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