OLIVER BURKE’S Celtic future has been thrown into turmoil after West Brom sacked boss Darren Moore at the weekend.
The 21-year-old striker’s loan period at the champions expires at the end of the season and he has already admitted he is happy at Parkhead.
Moore, though, had demanded the return of the player, who cost £15million from RB Leipzig in August 2017.
On hearing of the player’s impressive form at the Hoops, he said recently: “All this is for the benefit of West Bromwhich Albion. I’m sure we’ll see the player we’ve invested in when he comes back.”
However, the axe fell on Moore after the club’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Paul Lambert’s rock-bottom Ipswich Town on Saturday.
The Midlands side are fourth in the Championship, nine points off the automatic promotion places with two defeats from their last three league games.
Moore, 44, inherited Burke, who is earning a reported £30,000-per-week, when he was appointed in April 2018 after a caretaker spell following Alan Pardew’s sacking.
Assistants Graeme Jones and Wayne Jacobs have also been fired and first team coach James Shan has been put in charge before the club appoint a new manager which they seek to do “as soon as possible”.
CELEBRATIONS…Oliver Burke salutes a strike with Odsonne Edouard about to share the joy.
Burke, who has scored four goals in his 14 appearances, was reported in CQN last month stating: “I know this is a loan at the moment, it’s going really great, so we’ll see what happens.
“I’m enjoying myself at Celtic, I really like it here. I think it’s a great club with great team-mates who have made me feel welcome.
“Not only that, we’re doing really well on the pitch as well and creating a chemistry that’s working. Long may it continue.
“I’m just a happier boy now that I’m playing football. Every day I’m happy and I’m getting up really excited to come in and train and see the boys.
“To be back enjoying myself, getting results and being part of a winning team is an amazing feeling. I’m privileged and proud to be here.
“I hope it continues and I keep getting the opportunities to learn and get better.
“Right now I’m just focusing on day to day. I don’t want to look too far ahead because sometimes decisions can be taken out of your hands.
“But I’m really happy here and if I’m enjoying my football then I want to stay.”
Celtic legend John Hughes, the Parkhead side’s seventh-highest goalscorer, has urged his old club to “bust the bank” to keep Burke and break their previous record of £10million splashed on Odsonne Edouard last summer.
Now the speedy forward is left with the possibility West Brom and a new manager may be willing to sell – if the Hoops want to make the deal permanent.
Meanwhile, Burke will get his first Scotland call in two years this week after his eye-catching performances during his temporary transfer.
He earned the last of his five caps in March 2017 in a friendly against Canada.
But international gaffer Alex McLeish is ready to put his faith in Burke for the forthcoming double-header against Kazakhstan and San Marino.