CFR Cluj boss Dan Petrescu is set to have crunch talks about his long-term future today, according to Romanian outlet Digisport.
Celtic could be on the lookout for a new manager themselves with the Scottish Sun last night reporting that Neil Lennon could leave Parkhead before Tuesday night.
That would likely see a host of names linked with the glamorous Parkhead job, and the club could do a lot worse than bring in an overachiever such as the current Cluj boss if he becomes available.
Digisport reports that Petrescu will be meeting with the club’s president, Nelutu Vega, to discuss the termination of his contract. Cluj are currently six points behind Steaua Bucharest at the top of Liga 1, but he’s also led them to a sensational four consecutive league titles over the past four years.
Digisport has also stated that, despite Petrescu wanting to leave the club, they aren’t willing to pay the €2million termination clause in his contract. So it’s fair to say there’s plenty to negotiate there.
Petrescu deserves to be considered as an outside candidate
When you look at Petrescu’s record and experience, he’s shown he can get the job done abroad whilst also being vastly experienced as a manager. The Romanian tactician has taken ovr a total of 12 clubs throughout his career, including in countries such as Romania, Poland, Russia, Qatar, and China.
With Cluj over the last several years, Petrescu’s success has gone totally under the radar.
Not only have they secured four consecutive Liga 1 titles under his watch, but they’ve also managed some sensational results in Europe over the last two years. Two wins against Celtic, another two against Rennes, and one against Lazio was a sign of just how far Cluj had come under Petrescu’s guidance last season. When he arrived, Cluj had been in the European wilderness for several years.
This season, they’re battling away in the Europa League once again whilst Celtic have already been knocked out. An away win vs CSKA Sofia was followed by a respectable draw at home to Young Boys. Back-to-back losses to Roma have hardly damaged their reputation.
One of the more frustrating aspects of Lennon this season has been his lack of fight. So often this term when the camera cuts to the bench during a bad day, Lennon is sitting there with his arms folded or struggling to ignite any sort of inspiration into the game. Petrescu could sort that out given his emotive nature on the touchline.
Petrescu has promotions, title wins, cup wins, and overachievement in Europe on his CV. Given the places he’s managed and the results he’s achieved, he’s deserving of a move to a bigger club with bigger potential. Celtic could easily represent that challenge for him.
He’s a unique personality and would undoubtedly bring some fresh character to Scottish football. Of course, his demeanour may not be attractive to everyone, and some fans may want a higher-calibre name to replace Lennon if he departs.
But Petrescu has done more than enough to be considered an outsider for the post. If he comes to terms with his release from Cluj too, he could be the one to take Celtic on an exciting new journey.