Report: What Maloney has told Celtic; why he could leave Belgium

By David Walton

June 1, 2021

Celtic have held talks with Shaun Maloney about a potential backroom team role at Parkhead next season, according to the Daily Record.

Maloney is currently a first-team coach with the Belgian national team ahead of Euro 2020. He’s been in that role for almost three years as a vital cog in the Roberto Martinez regime. However, that could all come to an end this summer.

The former Celtic winger has, however, told the Hoops that he wants some time to fully focus on this summer’s European Championships. The Record believes this isn’t a problem for Celtic, who are incredibly said to be in no rush to make any decision.

The move may come as a surprise given the important role Maloney holds at one of the greatest international sides in football. But the Record reports that Martinez is one of the front runners to take over from the under-pressure Ronald Koeman at Barcelona this summer. It’s said he would want to take Maloney with him to the Nou Camp too.

However, the report states that Celtic hope the emotional pull of a return to Parkhead would be enough to entice Maloney.

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There’s no denying that if we’re going about rebuilding the club this summer, having a place for Maloney at Celtic looks wise. Given his experience with the Belgian national team and as part of such an impressive regime, Maloney looks an ideal candidate.

Of course, Maloney has been at Celtic as a coach in the past. Remember, he managed the club’s under-20 side back in August 2017. He would only stay at the club for just over a year however. The lure of Martinez’s Belgium call proving too hard to turn down.

Martinez and Maloney take in Belgium training at Hampden / (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

And Maloney likely won’t be short of offers if he does have to pack it in after Euro 2020. Sure, Martinez may want him at Barcelona, but his reputation will undoubtedly have other suitors eyeing him up. There are no guarantees he comes running just because Celtic have called.

It will also be interesting to see whether Maloney waits for the new managerial appointment first. It looks as though the Hoops will appoint Ange Postecoglou at some stage this week. Whether that’s a regime the former Celtic man would be interested in is up for debate.

But it would be a shrewd appointment from Celtic to bag Maloney for so many reasons. Fingers crossed we can make it happen, and soon.

In other news, a European club believe this Celtic youngster can replace a £12m man.