Celtic boss Lennon linked with vacant Sunderland post

Sunderland Gates

The Northern Irishman could swap Celtic Park for the Stadium of Light

Sunderland could be lining up an audacious move for current Celtic manager Neil Lennon after Roberto Di Matteo appeared to distance himself from the vacant role.

Gus Poyet remains the bookie’s favourite to be named as the new Black Cats boss, but the Northern Irishman is one of a number of names still being linked with the position, following the dismissal of Paolo Di Canio over the weekend.

Lennon was among the candidates for the role last season, when the Sunderland hierarchy opted for the fiery Italian as a replacement for then manager Martin O’Neill.

The Celtic boss certainly boasts an impressive CV with the Parkhead club, having won the Scottish Premier League twice as well as the Scottish Cup on two occasions.

Arguably his crowning achievement came last term though, with Lennon guiding the Glasgow team to the last 16 of the Champions League with wins over the likes of Benfica and Barcelona.

The 42-year-old has meanwhile refused to be drawn on the subject, speaking to Sky Sports in a press conference ahead of the Bhoy’s shock League Cup exit to Morton.

"I'm not aware of me being linked with anything. You are asking the wrong person," he told reporters.

"Maybe you should ask the people linking me with the jobs. I'm not aware of who they are. I'm very, very happy doing what I'm doing at the minute."

Whether his view on the position will have changed after the game remains to be seen, but it has certainly been a summer of frustration for Lennon, who failed to land a top-level striker during the transfer window.

Celtic have struggled for goals since the big-money departure of Gary Hooper and despite signing Schalke’s Teemu Pukki, the Hoops boss has made no secret of his frustrations at failing to purchase a proven goalscorer.

Big spending Sunderland would be likely to offer Lennon a greater transfer budget while the former Leicester City man could be open to a return to the Premier League as a manager.

But with everyone from Paul Ince to Roberto Mancini continuing to be linked to the job, Celtic fans need not worry just yet.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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