Neil Lennon to return to Celtic and replace Brendan Rodgers on interim basis

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Former Hibs head coach Neil Lennon is closing in on a return to Celtic, with outgoing Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers close to completing a move to English Premier League side Leicester City.

Lennon - who only parted ways with the Easter Road side at the end of last month - could be installed on an interim basis ahead of Celtic’s trip to the Capital to face Hearts tomorrow night.

Neil Lennon walks on the Parkhead turf ahead of Celtic's match with Hibs in January 2018. Picture: SNS Group

Neil Lennon walks on the Parkhead turf ahead of Celtic's match with Hibs in January 2018. Picture: SNS Group

Describing the 47-year-old as a “strong candidate”, Celtic chief Peter Lawwell confirmed talks had taken place with Lennon, who spent four years in the Celtic hotseat between 2010 and 2014.

He added: “We’re waiting to hear from Leicester and once we have, we’ll probably put a statement out. We’ve spoken to Neil and another couple of candidates but we’ll wait and see.”

Lennon is understood to have agreed terms to return to Parkhead, and is expected to retain the services of John Kennedy and Damien Duff in his backroom staff.

Chris Davies, Kolo Toure and Head of Performance Glen Driscoll are expected to join Rodgers at Leicester, who host Brighton this evening - although the 43-year-old, who is widely expected to sign a three-year deal with the 2016 Premier League-winners, will not be in the dugout even if a deal is struck ahead of kick-off.

Peter Lawwell pictured at Celtic Park. Picture: SNS Group

Peter Lawwell pictured at Celtic Park. Picture: SNS Group

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Lawwell said: “[Brendan] hasn’t left Celtic yet - we’re still waiting to hear back from Leicester.

“He’s down there at the moment - I think they’ve got a few things to sort out. There’s not really much I can say now, other than we’re waiting to hear back.”

Asked if the former Liverpool and Swansea boss had verbally agreed to take charge at the King Power Stadium, Lawwell insisted: “I’m unsure.

“I’m just waiting to hear back and hopefully things will come to a conclusion quickly, and we can get on with our own business.”

The Evening Times revealed today how the Celtic first-team squad initially thought Rodgers was joking when he informed them of his desire to return to the English Premier League.

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