Steve Clarke set to be offered new Scotland contract after Celtic speculation

By Euan Davidson

June 2, 2021

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is set to be offered a new deal, in an attempt to quash any Celtic rumours.

Clarke, who guided Scotland to their first major tournament since 1998, is a popular man. Following the departure of Neil Lennon in February [Celtic FC], the Scotland boss was one of the first names mentioned in the press.

However, SFA chief Ian Maxwell is in no mood to lose an asset. With Scotland set to meet the Netherlands in a friendly tonight, any speculation around Clarke is a distraction.

Maxwell said [Glasgow Times]:

“I think he’s contracted until the end of the World Cup finals, which are in December ‘22.

“But absolutely we’ll be talking about that [a new deal]. We want to keep him. We are absolutely delighted with the job he has done.

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“We’ll see how far we get in the Euros and we want to qualify for the World Cup in 2022 and hopefully he’s the Scotland manager for a long time to come and we keep qualifying for tournaments.”

Scotland boss Steve Clarke / (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Scotland boss Steve Clarke to Celtic, at this moment, doesn’t seem realistic

Funnily enough, Steve Clarke recently disclosed that he was approached by Dermot Desmond in 2014. Before the club hired Ronny Deila, Clarke, as well as Roy Keane, were interviewed to take Neil Lennon’s place. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Clarke said [Sun]:

“At the start of that summer, I was quite confident I’d come out the other side in a job of some kind. I met Dermot Desmond at his place in London and we had a good chat – I was interviewed by Brighton at around the same time.

“I had two really good interviews at two really good clubs and ended up runner-up in both. Celtic appointed Ronny Deila and Sami Hyypia got the Brighton job. So it was a little lesson for me not to be too confident about getting a job in future.”

Whether Celtic fans would actually take to him is another thing, though. Yes, his heroics with Scotland are considerable. The excitement for Euro 2020 is building, and it still feels a bit surreal that the Tartan Army will be at a major tournament.

However, at club level, his brand of defensive football can be a little torturous to watch. Also, it seems beyond unlikely that Clarke would leave the acclaim of the Scotland job to take over at Celtic Park. He’s never necessarily ruled it out, but it appears far more likely he’ll stay put for the time being.

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