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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 17:20 UK

Reid dampens Celtic speculation

Celtic chairman John Reid
John Reid says Celtic will not rush into appointing a new manager

Celtic will not be rushed into appointing Gordon Strachan's successor, according to the club's chairman.

Despite speculation linking Burnley manager Owen Coyle to the vacancy, John Reid said Celtic had yet to make an official approach to any club.

"Clearly, Celtic's priority is to appoint the very best candidate. It is better to get this right rather than be rushed," Reid told his club website.

Tony Mowbray and Slaven Bilic have also been linked with the post.

Reid said the club were considering a number of names, but had not sought permission to talk to prospective candidates.

The Celtic chairman said it was important to identify the best man for the job, adding: "We will aim to do this as soon as we possibly can, but we will also do so in a professional, considered manner and ensure that we appoint the correct individual for the club and its supporters.

"As the board has done in recent years, through the appointment of Martin O'Neill and Gordon Strachan, we aim to appoint a manager who will bring continued success to the club."

Owen Coyle, Tony Mowbray and Slaven Bilic
Coyle, Mowbray and Bilic have been linked with Celtic

Reid conceded there would be rumour and speculation over the new manager, but stressed that the club would only make an announcement when an appointment was imminent.

Burnley boss Coyle, thought to be Celtic's top target, is now close to agreeing an extension to his contract at Turf Moor, according to the Lancashire club.

The 42-year-old former St Johnstone boss said any talk of moving to Celtic was "hypothetical" and he was planning for next season in England's top flight.

Meanwhile, Celtic's chief executive Peter Lawwell has returned from the Champions League final in Rome to step up the search for Strachan's successor.


If he wants Mowbray, West Brom would demand about £1m to free him from his contract at the Hawthorns.

And the Midlands club are anxious to hold on to the former Hibernian boss, despite their relegation to the Championship.

"We have already made our position very clear on this situation and it has not changed," a West Brom statement read.

"We have not received an approach from Celtic for Tony Mowbray - nor would we welcome one. Tony is under contract for the next two years and we fully expect him to remain as our manager."

Croatia coach Bilic is still under contract but agent Rudi Vata told BBC Scotland earlier this week that the former Everton and West Ham defender was keen for a new challenge.

The 40-year-old, who has never been a club manager, led his country to the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 after topping a qualification group, which included England and Russia.

Celtic are looking for a new manager after Strachan stepped down on Monday, following a successful four-year tenure.

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see also
Coyle close to Burnley extension
28 May 09 |  Burnley
Duffy doubts Coyle's credentials
27 May 09 |  Celtic
Bilic interested in Celtic post
27 May 09 |  Celtic
Celtic face 1m Mowbray price tag
26 May 09 |  West Brom
Strachan eyes McGhee as successor
26 May 09 |  Celtic
Coyle ready for Clarets challenge
26 May 09 |  Burnley
Strachan resigns as Celtic boss
25 May 09 |  Celtic
Few tears shed for Strachan
25 May 09 |  Celtic

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