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Report: Eddie Howe the ‘clear favorite’ to take over Celtic

Eddie Howe

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Eddie Howe of Bournemouth at the end of his sides 2-1 win during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Aston Villa at Vitality Stadium on February 01, 2020 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Eddie Howe’s first 13 years as a manager saw him only leave Bournemouth for Burnley, only to return to Bournemouth.

One of England’s best-regarded young managers now looks set to try another country, as the 43-year-old Englishman is reportedly in “advanced talks” to take over at Celtic.

Howe led Bournemouth to promotion from League Two in 2010 before taking the reins at Turf Moor for just under a year, returning to the Cherries and leading promotion to the Championship and Premier League.

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He left Bournemouth at the end of its relegation campaign last season and has since resisted a return despite links to Newcastle, West Brom, and a host of other clubs.

The Cherries have already made a managerial shift since Howe left, trading his longtime assistant Jason Tindall in and promoting Jonathan Woodgate. Bournemouth is three points back of the promotion playoff spots with a match-in-hand on sixth-place Reading.

The BBC reports that Howe is “the clear favorite” to take over in Glasgow, where Celtic is tasked with reclaiming the Scottish top-flight title from Rangers after their bid to win 10-in-a-row was foiled by Steven Gerrard’s remarkable Rangers.

It was also foiled by a poor Celtic and a club that was slow to remove club hero Lennon from the manager’s seat. Celtic and Rangers had each ended their Old Firm derby rival’s bid for a 10th-consecutive domestic title but Rangers’ win this season was the second time it did it to the Bhoys across town.

Even with Celtic as poor as it’s been, the Glaswegians are 13 points clear of third-place Hibs. Rangers have 55 titles and Celtic 51 and no other club has won Scotland’s highest honor since Alex Ferguson did it with Aberdeen in the 1984-85 season.

Is this a good move for Howe? History says Celtic will be in a title fight even in a big rebuild and Howe will get some patience, too, as he bids to replicate the success of the club’s most recent Premier League import (Brendan Rodgers). Barring total failure -- which is very unlikely -- Howe won’t lose his luster at home, so why not take over a historic club and taste Champions League qualifying and either the tournament proper or the Europa League?

Celtic will see the departure the iconic midfielder Scott Brown this summer and influential loanees Mohamed Elyounoussi, Diego Laxalt, and mercurial Shane Duffy will return to their big-name parent clubs.

Center back Kristoffer Ajer and free-scoring Odsonne “French Eddy” Edouard will have plenty of suitors in the transfer market, likely to help further fund a transfer kitty?

And who might join Howe in Scotland should he take the gig? Steve Cook, Asmir Begovic, Junior Stanislas, and Adam Smith are all longtime Cherries whose contracts expire this summer. Just saying... there are fits here.

Follow @NicholasMendola