Harry Redknapp tipped Eddie Howe to be perfect for Parkhead – and insisted a silverware showdown with Steven Gerrard blows most options in England out of the water.
Celtic chiefs are confident they can thrash out the small print on a deal to land the former Bournemouth boss and could have him on board this week.
Redknapp – who is also a former Cherries gaffer – snapped up Howe as a player when he was manager at Portsmouth and has been keeping tabs on his dugout career as he led Bournemouth from the basement division to the EPL.
Howe’s miracle work on the south coast has fired the manager in to the frame for several positions down south – with Record Sport revealing Howe had knocked back two EPL gigs last week.
Celtic are hoping to pip Crystal Palace and Newcastle United to his appointment and Redknapp reckons the promise of hunting trophies and competing in Europe could sway his thinking – along with the mouthwatering box office prospect of a title fight with Three Lions legend Gerrard at Rangers.
Ex-Spurs and West Ham manager Redknapp said: “I think it would be a great move for Eddie. We are talking about one of the major clubs in world football in my opinion.
“It would be a great opportunity for him to go up and try to get Celtic back to where they were a year ago.
“They’ve had a bad season unfortunately, Neil Lennon is a real legend at the club, but it’s been a bad year and to go there and lock horns with Stevie Gerrard would be a great challenge for anybody.
“It would also be a great move for Celtic too.
“If he doesn’t go to Celtic there’s no doubt, he will go to a Premier League club. But do you want to go to a middle of the table Premier League club and try to stay up every year or would you rather go to Celtic and try to win the title and have that great rivalry with Rangers and play in the Champions League? It’s far more exciting to go to Celtic, I think.”
Redknapp is convinced his old charge has the tools to be a success at Celtic.
Howe is hot property down south and has been touted as a future England boss after completing his Bournemouth mission impossible.
Redknapp said: “Eddie is very, very good. He took a club from the bottom division to the Premier League and kept them there for five years playing the most incredible football.
“If somebody had said to me that Bournemouth would be in the Premier League one day, I would have said they were off their head. I took them into the championship for the first time in their 100-year history and I thought no one would beat that.
“Then Eddie came along and took them right through the divisions to the Premier League.
“Eighteen months ago, people were talking about him being next England manager and there was talk of Arsenal as well so there’s no doubt Celtic will be getting a fantastic manager.”
Celtic fans demand a swashbuckling style and Redknapp reckons Howe’s management style is tailor made for Parkhead.
The 43-year-old’s Cherries were a star turn in the top flight for five seasons until they eventually went down on the back of an injury hit campaign before his departure last August.
Redknapp said: “He likes to play an open attacking game and he loves to play with wingers. It will be an exciting brand of football that is for sure.
“I go to all the games at Bournemouth, and they outplayed Liverpool and Manchester United here, they should also have beaten Manchester City here. It was incredible the football he had Bournemouth playing during that period.
“Yes, they got relegated, and I’m not making excuses, but they were decimated by injuries and went down by a goal on the last day of the season.”