Celtic coach John Kennedy emerges as leading contender to be next Hibs manager

John Kennedy is highly regarded due to his work at Celtic. Pic: SNSJohn Kennedy is highly regarded due to his work at Celtic. Pic: SNS
John Kennedy is highly regarded due to his work at Celtic. Pic: SNS | other
Easter Road outfit willing to pay any required compensation if they decide to make move

John Kennedy has emerged as a leading contender for the Hibs managerial position.

The 36-year-old Celtic assistant is now one of the most prominent names on the Easter Road club’s list of candidates, alongside former St Mirren and Sunderland manager Jack Ross.

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Parkhead manager Neil Lennon said of his highly-regarded No.2 on Sunday: “It’s a feather in John’s cap if it’s the case Hibs are interested but as far as I’m concerned, he won’t be going anywhere because he’s an integral part of what we do here.”

However, Hibs are open to paying any required compensation to land Kennedy if they decide that he is the man they want to replace Paul Heckingbottom as their new manager and make a formal move.

Kennedy has been focusing on his coaching career ever since being forced to retire from playing ten years ago this week, aged just 26. He first started working for Celtic as a scout in 2010 and then spent three years working with the club’s development team before becoming first-team coach under Ronny Della in 2014. The former Scotland defender retained this position under Brendan Rodgers before being promoted to the role of assistant by Lennon when the former Hibs boss returned to Celtic Park in February.

Spaniard Raul Caneda Perez, who has previously worked under Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, became the latest new name to be linked with the Hibs vacancy, but it now looks increasingly likely to develop into a two-way battle between Kennedy and Ross, who is currently the even-money favourite with bookmakers.