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EX-CELT LINED UP FOR KEY ROLE

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SHAUN MALONEY has emerged as a potential key player in Celtic’s summer rebuild.

The former Hoops forward could be offered a vital role in the new Parkhead set-up which is likely to see former Australia boss Ange Postecoglou as the long-term successor to Neil Lennon who departed in February.

Maloney is already part of Roberto Martinez’s backroom team that will lead Belgium into the Euro Finals this month, but the manager is on the brink of quitting the international circuit and has been linked with the role at Barcelona with Ronald Koeman reported to be edging towards the exit.

Spurs are also monitoring the Spaniard’s situation as they search for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho who was axed near the end of the season.

That could hasten the departure of Maloney from his Belgian post and there are reports he has already held initial discussions with outgoing chief executive Peter Lawwell on the possibility of a return to the club, according to the Daily Record.

GREEN FOR GO…Shaun Maloney in action for Celtic in November 2010.

The former Scotland star, 38, who had two spells at the Hoops as a player, may be on the verge of a new strategic role as in the restructuring that has seen Manchester City’s Fergal Harkin linked with the director of football position although there have been recent doubts expressed over that move.

Maloney had a brief stint as a coach with the Hoops Under-20s development squad when he was appointed in August 2017. Just over a year later, he quit to team up with Martinez.

He has signed a contract with the Belgian FA until after next year’s World Cup in Qatar, but, with Martinez’s situation seemingly about to change, he could also be on his way.

The ex-Celt, who was introduced to the Parkhead first team by Martin O’Neill in his debut treble-winning campaign, will NOT be rushing into a decision.

He has asked for time to concentrate on the Euros with the Belgians preparing for the kick-off against Russia a week on Saturday followed by group games against Demark (17th) and Finland (21st).

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