The Martin O'Neill signing who could return to Celtic under Fergal Harkin

By Euan Davidson

May 21, 2021

With all the memories of Seville, on the 18 year anniversary of Celtic playing Porto in the UEFA Cup Final, it’s natural to wonder where some of those players are now.

Some are obvious; Henrik Larsson is a coach at Barcelona. Chris Sutton is a media favourite. Paul Lambert and Neil Lennon have had managerial careers, while Momo Sylla runs a soap company. Contrasting fortunes, sure enough. You’d imagine that each of Martin O’Neill’s charges has earned enough to do whatever they want to for the rest of their lives.

It’s worth remembering, though, that former Livingston striker David Fernandez was on the bench for that final. While it never really worked out for the Spaniard at Celtic, there was plenty of reason to snap him up. A mobile, creative forward, Fernandez wasn’t prolific at Livi, but he was certainly enough of a threat to bother defences.

What’s he up to now? Well, funnily enough, he works for the outstanding Celtic candidate for the Director of Football job, Fergal Harkin. The Irishman, who is said to have an excellent relationship with CEO Peter Lawwell, is reportedly the club’s main target for a role that’s not been filled since Kenny Dalglish was advising John Barnes.

Fernandez, a scout at Manchester City, isn’t the easiest to find in terms of information. However, his sparse LinkedIn page, records of him joining City [Tribal Football] and Liverpool trying to snap him up [The National News] indicate he’s still very much involved with the Citizens.

Fernandez was on the bench in Seville / (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Could Fernandez be lured back to Celtic by Fergal Harkin?

Harkin, who appeared close to taking a role at Celtic in April, will surely be looking to bring some veterans with him if he does make the move. A knowledge of the club will be an absolute bonus, and surely that qualifies David Fernandez to make an unlikely return.

Fernandez may only have made 11 league appearances in the Hoops [Celtic Wiki]. But he could provide a valuable resource. Based in Spain, he wouldn’t necessarily have to move, either. The Bhoys would surely look to have scouts stationed permanently across Europe.

While luring him from Manchester City might be a daunting task, and not necessarily one Celtic will be desperate to make, it’s one that makes sense. After all, Harkin could surely do far worse than to arm himself with all the information about the club that he can muster.

If it means securing Spanish talents, then all the better. Javier Sanchez Broto, Marc Crosas and of course, Fernandez, are curiously the only Spanish nationals to have represented Celtic. Crosas, as a Catalonian, represented Spain at youth level.

READ MORE: “You can take us anywhere, we won’t let you down”