Report: Celtic DoF candidate Fergal Harkin rejects Belgian job offer

By Euan Davidson

May 28, 2021

According to a report, Celtic Director of Football candidate Fergal Harkin has turned down a move to Belgium.

The Daily Record reports that Harkin, who has been heavily linked with Celtic, rejected a move to Lommel SK. The minnows are owned by the same group as Manchester City. The City Group confirmed the purchase in May 2020 [Manchester Evening News], adding to a portfolio including Girona, NYCFC and Melbourne City, amongst others.

It appears to have been a last-gasp intervention to keep Harkin in the City Group. While the chance to work hands-on with a growing Belgian outfit might’ve appealed, it’s not swayed the Irishman quite enough. This would suggest, then, that Harkin could be on his way to Celtic.

Former Bhoys assistant John Collins has outlined his connections to the club in the past. A notable transfer guru at City, Collins said of Harkin [BBC Sportsound]:

“He’s done a good job for Celtic – he was responsible for Jason Denayer, John Guidetti, Patrick Roberts, Dedryck Boyata. So, they were all successful at Celtic. He’s done a good job for Celtic in the past.

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“I know he’s got a good relationship with Peter [Lawwell] and the board, so he is a possibility, but he hasn’t been a director of football before.”

Not quite Paradise: Harkin has turned down a move to Lommel SK / (Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images)

Do Celtic have their ducks in a row at last?

This will be welcome news to a lot of Celtic supporters. Of course, actually having the long-mooted people in place by now would’ve been even better.

Hiring Harkin, though, is an important part of the puzzle. A coherent footballing identity, micro-management across the footballing departments, and a recruitment strategy are absolutely key. In many respects, Harkin, or a Director of Football more generally, would bring us in step with the modern game.

What’s clear is that Harkin, if hired, won’t have any time to waste. Celtic face a gruelling Champions League qualifying schedule, as well as a need to wrestle the title back from our rivals. Recruitment and ideology are a huge part of that, and so far, we’re hearing little from the club.

Will this be the day? We can only hope so.

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