LONDON (Reuters) - Former players Henrik Larsson and David Moyes were being linked with a return to Scottish champions Celtic on Thursday after Neil Lennon stood down after four years at the helm.
Lennon, who won three consecutive Scottish titles and two Scottish Cups, announced that he had parted company with the Glasgow giants in a statement reported on the BBC.
Former Sweden striker Larsson, a huge crowd favourite at Celtic for whom he scored 242 goals in 315 appearances, including 53 in one season in 2000-01 to win the European Golden Boot award, is currently in charge of Swedish club Falkenbergs.
“There may be a lot of rumours in Scotland but nobody is talking about it in Sweden. I talk to Henrik every day but we have not spoken about the Celtic job,” sporting director Hakan Nilsson told the Daily Record.
“There has been no contact from Celtic.”
Moyes, who played for Celtic in the 1980s, would also be a logical choice having been sacked by Manchester United last month after only 10 months in charge at old Trafford.
Celtic were still to confirm Lennon’s departure but he said on the BBC’s website that he was happy to have left the club in a strong position.
“I have parted company with Celtic,” the 42-year-old said in a statement. “The club are in a very strong position and I wish the fans and the club all the very best for the future.”
Lennon, the former Celtic captain and Northern Ireland international, took charge in 2010.
With fierce rivals Rangers having been relegated to Scotland’s lower divisions after a financial meltdown, winning the Scottish title has been a minimum requirement for Lennon.
He delivered, becoming only the fourth Celtic manager to win three consecutive league titles. He also led Celtic to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2012-13, famously beating Barcelona in a group phase match.
Lennon has been linked to several vacant managerial jobs in England, including West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City.
“Four years is a good spell to be manager of a club like Celtic, but now Neil wants to look ahead to the next chapter of his career,” Lennon’s agent Martin Reilly was quoted on the BBC.
“He just feels now is the time to move on to the next challenge.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond and Justin Palmer