ANGE POSTECOGLOU has emerged as the shock front runner for the Celtic job after a deal for Eddie Howe collapsed.
SunSport Online revealed the ex-Bournemouth gaffer had dramatically pulled out of the job.
Celtic later confirmed the news - with club sources claiming they are in advanced talks with a new target.
Former Australia boss Postecoglou is understood to be that man - and came from nowhere to be installed as the bookies’ favourite.
But SunSport can reveal the Yokohama F Marinos boss is well known to members of the Celtic hierarchy.
The Japanese club are owned by the City Group, who have developed close links with the Hoops in recent years.
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Postecoglou, 55, previously bossed the Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup and has won the Asian Cup and domestic titles in Australia and Japan.
He is a left-field candidate but has a good coaching reputation, plays attacking football and would jump at the chance of a move to Celtic.
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre also has Hoops boardroom admirers and remains a free agent.
The 63-year-old indicated an interest in the Celtic job months ago and is still out of work after leaving Dortmund in December.
The Swiss coach is rated highly after sterling work at Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice.
Like Postecoglou, though, he has no experience of the British game.
Ex-Celtic player Roy Keane also remains interested in a return to Parkhead.
Hoops chiefs now face a race against time to appoint a new man, with pre-season just three weeks away.
Celtic thought the Howe deal would fall into place when Bournemouth’s season ended in a play-off defeat to Brentford last weekend.
But fresh talks stalled and by Thursday Howe informed Celtic his backroom team wouldn’t be available and that he was out.
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However, the Parkhead club revealed they are in advanced talks with someone, with the aim of appointing a new manager "very shortly".
A Hoops statement said: “We can now confirm Eddie will not be joining the club, for reasons outwith both his and Celtic’s control.
"We wish Eddie success for the future.
“As part of the ongoing process we have engaged with a number of candidates.”
Source : https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/7179362/celtic-manager-ange-postecoglou-shock-front-runner/2493