Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie has claimed that Eddie Howe is stalling on Celtic’s offer because he’s set to hold talks with Newcastle United.
It’s McAvennie’s understanding that he’s ‘holding back’ on a move to Scotland because he plans to enter discussions with Newcastle United and is ‘waiting’ on Crystal Palace to make a decision on Roy Hodgson – two clubs who’ve been heavily linked with a summer approach for the ex-Bournemouth boss.
This fits in with what Howe’s camp stated just last week in a brief statement, with a representative of his stating that talk of an imminent switch to the SPL giants was “extremely premature” and that he’d make a decision at the end of the season after “significant interest” from a series of unnamed clubs.
Back to McAvennie, here’s what he told Football Insider:
“Eddie Howe is going to be speaking to Newcastle.
“From what I hear, he’s holding back on Celtic and it looks like he’s talking to Newcastle, which is a shame because Steve Bruce has done a good job.
“Howe’s also waiting on Crystal Palace but Roy is still in the job down there, which means they have to wait until the end of the season to start talking.
“I think it’s disrespectful to Celtic, I think we have to move on and leave him.
“It’s the few months he wants to wait that lets me believe that he’s speaking to other people and Celtic can’t afford to wait.”
Time will tell if this is more than just hearsay, but I imagine this is very close to the truth. After all, he’s been regularly linked with a Premier League return and may want to see what becomes available this summer before committing to Celtic.
Howe has been one of the most popular choices amongst Newcastle fans when it comes to potential Steve Bruce replacements, with him the leading candidate in a poll carried out by The Chronicle.
That said, will we even be on the lookout for a new manager if Bruce keeps us up and satisfies Mike Ashley’s remit? Who knows, but I’d like to bet fans will make their thoughts clear when supporters return to St James’ Park – upping the pressure on Ashley to pull the trigger.
Bruce is not the answer and although Howe has something to prove after taking Bournemouth down, he’d be a considerable upgrade in my eyes and a man capable of getting a tune out of this capable group of players.