Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke has all but ruled out a move to Celtic any time soon.
The Killie chief was quizzed on his thoughts yesterday and provided his thoughts in the Scotsman.
Brendan Rodgers left Parkhead in dramatic fashion last night, and an opportunity has arisen for the likes of Clarke.
Yet, speaking in the Scotsman, the former Chelsea coach claimed he has no interest in joining the Hoops. Instead, he stated a return to England would be his next move.
“You’ll always have that speculation – I’ve come back to Scotland and done a pretty decent job with Kilmarnock.
“When I came to Kilmarnock it was for my own personal reasons – it fitted well into where I saw myself next and that’s still the case.
“It’s 100 per cent certain that I’ll go back to England. It’s 100 per cent certain that I’ll go back to England. That’s where my family and my life is. But right now I’m concentrating on Kilmarnock.”
Safe to put a cross through this one?
Between now and the end of the season, expect more managers in and out of work to give their thoughts on the Celtic job. Clarke is likely the first of many.
Peter Lawwell yesterday said that Celtic had spoken to Lennon and a “couple” of other candidates. It appears safe to say now that Clarke wasn’t one of them.
We gave our own view on why Clarke should be the next Celtic manager earlier this month. Yet, it seems clear that he doesn’t see the Hoops as an essential part of his future.
There’s no denying, also, that the job is Neil Lennon’s to lose. He has the chance to steer us to a treble treble, and if he does, it likely doesn’t matter what Clarke thinks.
But it’s still a surprise to hear him be so unequivocal in his denial of interest in the Hoops job. It may be the case that he could be tempted by an official approach, but that doesn’t seem likely.
The Killie manager has also recently been having issues with sectarianism from the Rangers support. That may also be a factor in him not appearing to want a move to Parkhead.
For now, it’s safe to rule out Clarke.