NEIL LENNON fired out a word of warning to any player pondering the possibilities of joining Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City: “Think twice!”

Scotland internationals Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor and James Forrest are known to be individuals rated extremely highly by the ex-Hoops boss.

However, Celtic’s interim manager, speaking on Sky Sports,  advised: “From my own experience, when you leave Celtic it’s not the same.

“There’s a bit of a hole there. Something in your spirit is just not the same. It’s magical. If you are thinking of leaving, you should think twice.”

Lennon also had an opinion on Rodgers’ quickfire exit 48 hours after helping the champions to a 4-1 win over Motherwell to maintain their lead at the top of the Premiership to eight points.

As the Irishman prepares his players for tonight’s Premiership confrontation with old foe Craig Levein’s Hearts at Tynecastle, he added: “I was a bit surprised by the timing, but he’s going to a very big club in what’s seen by many as the greatest league in the world.”

On the subject of his own exit in 2014, he said: “I had four great years, but I needed a bit of a break. It’s high-octane, it’s chaotic.

“I needed a break and took six months out of the game. I left the club on great terms with Peter and Mr Desmond. It was very important to me that I didn’t leave under a cloud.”

And what sort of reception does he expect tonight against Hearts?

He replied: “I’m sure I’ll get a very warm welcome at Tynecastle. From BOTH sets of fans.”

And that is likely to be the same situation on Saturday evening when Lennon leads the holders across the capital for their Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hibs, the club he left in such acrimonious circumstances last month.

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

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