Rafael Benitez won’t join Celtic as ‘he likes a big bag of money’ says Simon Jordan, while Trevor Sinclair backs Stoke boss Michael O’Neill for job
Simon Jordan can’t see Rafa Benitez being interested in the Celtic job for financial reasons.
The former Newcastle boss recently left his role as manager of Chinese Super League side Dalian Professional, and is being talked about as a potential contender to succeed Neil Lennon.
Lennon resigned having overseen a disastrous season – with Rangers running away with the Scottish Premiership – and are expected to turn to an experienced head as they look to rebuild.
But that is unlikely to be Benitez, reckons former Crystal Palace owner Jordan.
He told Jim White: “Every single appointment is very important for Celtic, and in the nature of their rivalry with Rangers and the re-emergence of Rangers it has now become even more prevalent.
“The situation with Neil Lennon was if, not when, so we’re talking about something which has just been brought forward.
“You saw with Neil Lennon’s body language, his position after losing to Ross County, it was time probably.
“It’s about what they do next.
“It’s interesting because what I think will be one of the things that will preclude them is budget. I can’t see Benitez coming because Benitez likes a big bag of money.”
Trevor Sinclair, meanwhile, has identified Michael O’Neill, who did a brilliant job with the Northern Ireland national team and has stabilised Stoke in the Championship, as the ideal candidate for the Celtic job.
He said: “They’ve got to bring in an experienced manager that needs to know about recruitment, he’s got to do the scouting again.
“I think with the academy, they let players like John McGinn and Andy Robertson go, who are now doing well in England. They should be taking all the Scottish players and making them their players.
“I like Michael O’Neill because he did a fantastic job with Northern Ireland, he’s done a superb job with Stoke City.
“I think a manager like that – a David Moyes kind of manager – who knows the game inside out, knows how to run clubs from top to bottom.
“I feel you need a manager like that to come in and get the club into shape and really get it going again.”
But the most important thing for Celtic is that they show a bit of ambition, believe Tony Cascarino and Ally McCoist.
They cited the gamble rivals Rangers took on Steven Gerrard when Gers appointed him in the summer of 2018 – a gamble which is paying off massively.
Cascarino said: “Rangers made a very ambitious signing in Steven Gerrard and it lifted the whole of Rangers – the fanbase, the owners, the directors – and I think Celtic need to do a similar thing. They need to excite their fans and get belief back at that football club.
McCoist added: “I think Casc is spot on. The one thing [Rangers chairman] Dave King did that absolutely grabbed the hope and imagination of the next generation of Rangers supporters was to appoint Steven.
“Steven clearly deserves a lot of credit and I think the job he’s doing is fantastic, but the board has shown a little bit of faith in Steven, the fans have got behind Steven, they gave him a few quid to spend which he’s spent very wisely.
“Everything in the garden is very rosy, not just domestically but some of the performances at European level have been fantastic.
“Celtic need an appointment that shows supporters that there are better times ahead because it’s been an unmitigated disaster this season…”