Brendan Rodgers leaves Celtic to take Leicester City job
Rodgers deal runs to summer of 2022; Neil Lennon returns as Celtic boss until end of season
Brendan Rodgers is welcomed by supporters ahead of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Brighton at the King Power stadium. Rodgers has signed a seal to take over as manager until the summer of 2022. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty Images
Leicester City have appointed Brendan Rodgers as their new manager on a contract until June 2022, with Celtic confirming the return of Neil Lennon as the 46-year-old’s interim replacement. Leicester have also agreed to pay Celtic compensation of around £6 million to secure Rodgers’s signature.
“I’m very privileged and honoured to be here as Leicester City manager and I’ll give my life to make the supporters proud of their club,” Rodgers said. “Together, we’ll be stronger and I’m looking forward to working with the players, staff and supporters to make the right steps forward.”
Rodgers will take charge of the team for the first time at Watford – the club where he began his managerial career – on Sunday, and will be in attendance for Tuesday’s home game against Brighton. He will be joined at Leicester by assistant coach Chris Davies, fitness coach Glen Driscoll and first-team coach Kolo Touré.
Celtic had given permission for Rodgers to hold talks with Leicester earlier on Tuesday, and have now confirmed the interim appointment of former manager Lennon, who left Hibernian in January. Lennon will take over until the end of the season, joined by assistant manager John Kennedy and coach Damien Duff.
“I am absolutely delighted to be named manager of Celtic again,” Lennon said. “This is a club which has been such a huge part of my life already, and it is an honour to be asked to return.
“I have given everything to Celtic as a player and manager already in my career and I am ready to do the same again . . . I am returning to one of the biggest and best clubs in world football and I can’t wait to get started.”
Neil Lennon won the Premiership three times with Celtic before departing in 2014.
Leicester had long viewed Rodgers as an ideal successor to Claude Puel but there were doubts as to whether he could be persuaded to leave Celtic in the middle of the season, with the Scottish champions on course to win a third domestic treble in succession.
Rodgers explained why he believed this to be the right moment to size an opportunity to return to the Premier League. “I think there was a number of reasons. I was certainly in no hurry to leave Celtic. [it] is a club that’s huge worldwide, a renowned club, and I loved working with the players there.
“We were on a journey of great success over these last years but when the opportunity came to talk to Leicester and I was able to analyse it, it allowed me to think that I’d probably achieved and taken the club maybe as far as I could at this moment.” – Guardian