Former Celtic managerial candidate holding talks with Italian side

By Euan Davidson

May 25, 2021

Having been linked with Celtic, Manchester City Development coach Enzo Maresca is holding talks with Parma.

Parma, who went bankrupt in 2015 and re-founded in Serie D, had achieved multiple promotions. They were in Serie A last season, however they finished dead last in 20-21 with just three wins [Sky Sports]. Subsequently, manager Roberto D’Aversa left the club yesterday, opening the door for Enzo Maresca [Football-Italia].

Maresca, who had been described as the “first target” Celtic had after Neil Lennon left, has taken his Manchester City youth side to a dominant title win. The Citizens blew away their Premier League 2 opposition, scoring 79 goals in 24 games and leading the league by 14 points.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Maresca flew out to Italy for talks and is set to leave for his home country:

Vincenzo “Enzo” Maresca represented a number of Italian sides during his playing career, but never Parma. The former Italian youth international played for Juventus, Bologna, Piacenza, Fiorentina, Palermo and Verona. His knowledge of the leagues in Italy, then, is beyond question.

With Parma facing a difficult season in the ultra-competitive Serie B, it’s a very stern test of his abilities. He may, though, be able to call upon some Manchester City youngsters.

Enzo Maresca, development coach at Manchester City / (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

All directions point to Howe for Celtic, but Enzo Maresca could’ve been interesting

While there’s a very, very obvious candidate for the Celtic job, it did seem like Maresca had a shot at one time. The Fergal Harkin links were obvious.

It depended, ultimately, how the Celtic board wanted to go. If a full, dramatic rebuild, selling our key assets and bringing through a glut of youth prospects was the roadmap, Maresca would’ve fit. However, years of growth with potential success at the end isn’t the Celtic way.

Supporters and the club itself need results instantly. European football is a must, let alone being competitive. For those reasons, Maresca is a bit more of a risk. Eddie Howe, on the other hand, has far, far more experience at a high level. It doesn’t mean to say that the Italian won’t be a top coach in the future, and linked with Celtic again.

Parma represent a huge challenge. Surely, there’ll be a few Celtic-supporting eyes on Serie B next season to see how a former candidate gets on.

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