CELTIC’S new manager will have already identified his summer targets as the Hoops prepare for a massive summer rebuild.

That’s the view of former star Murdo MacLeod with the fans still waiting for a club announcement about Neil Lennon’s successor.

Former Bournemouth gaffer Eddie Howe is still favourite for the role which has been occupied in an interim capacity by John Kennedy since the Irishman’s departure in February.

The ex-club and country central defender will lead the fallen champions into tonight’s last game at Parkhead where Scottish Cup Finalists St Johnstone are the visitors as the curtain comes down in the east end of Glasgow on a wretched campaign that promised so much in the summer and delivered nothing but misery.

Supporters are also anxious about the identity of the new team chief as well as transfers in and out of the club with only one Premiership match still to be played against Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday afternoon.

MacLeod is adamant the incoming manager will be well clued up with squad requirements in the next window which opens next month.

The one-time midfield powerhouse and No.2 to Wim Jansen in the 1998 title-winning team, speaking to the Celtic Huddle Podcast, said: “I’ve felt with Eddie, if he’s been tied up with Celtic for the last six or seven weeks, then he’s been using his knowledge in England to pick out players who are going to be available to Celtic.

“Because obviously, so many people will be saying to the new manager before he even comes to Celtic: ‘This one’s not going to be here and this one’s not going to be here. This one’s going, we’ll get money for them, but you’ve got to go and get a new centre-back. You’ve got to get a new centre-forward. You’ve got to bring in better quality than we’ve got just now’.

“So everybody will be giving the new manager some details on who to get rid of and who to keep.”

Celtic have already parted company with Jeremie Frimpong, £11.8million to Bayer Leverkusen, Hatem Abd Elhamed, £700,000 to Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and Patryk Klimala, £3.5million to New York Red Bulls, during the season.

Scott Brown agreed a pre-contract with Aberdeen and Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer, both ging into the lst year of their contracts, will be on their way.

Ryan Christie will be allowed to speak to interested clubs in the summer with his deal coming to an end in January while Nir Bitton is also being linked with a return to Israel.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v St Johnstone this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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