Trapattoni turned down Celtic role

 

Soccer:Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has revealed he dismissed a recent proposal to take up a position at Celtic.

The former Italy and Juventus manager has been linked with an advisory role at Parkhead as Celtic prepare to make an announcement over their managerial vacancy.

Neil Lennon is the runaway favourite after leading the club to eight consecutive Premier League victories following Tony Mowbray’s sacking in March.

His lack of managerial experience is seen as the only obstacle to his appointment with the introduction of an experienced director of football mooted as a solution.

But Trapattoni insists he is committed to leading the Republic to Euro 2012 after their World Cup hopes ended in controversial circumstances against France last year.

The 71-year-old, who turned down an approach from Juve earlier this year, said: “It was not the Celtic chairman, but someone close to him, close to the club, a former player, who approached me three to four months ago and asked would I be interested in a position.

“But I say no, I am with Ireland. I also had two or three teams ask me in Italy, and two English teams.

“I told them all the same answer - that I am with Ireland.”

Reports today claimed Lennon, who has so far been assisted by former Hoops team-mate Johann Mjallby, was reluctant to accept an unfamiliar guide.

However, the former Celtic captain appeared amenable to the idea on Thursday when he told a meeting of supporters at Parkhead: “If I do get the job, maybe I would like an older head to bounce ideas off. It is a possibility if the outcome is positive.”

Former Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson, who was recently appointed interim chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, and Lennon’s former boss Dario Gradi, who is back in charge of Crewe’s first-team affairs after twice moving to a director of football role, have also been linked with the position.

Meanwhile, Celtic are reported to be considering moves for Derby midfielder Paul Green and Stoke’s Liam Lawrence.

The pair’s Republic of Ireland team-mate Steven Reid last week joined West Brom on a permanent basis after holding talks with Celtic.