Norway legend claims Celtic are close to appointing Deila

Celtic Champions League

Retired ex-Middlesbrough and Norway striker Jan Aage Fjortoft has claimed that Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are close to appointing Ronny Deila.

Ronny Deila looks set to be named as the new manager of Scottish champions Celtic, Jan Aage Fjortoft has claimed.

The Stromsgodset manager emerged as the shock favourite for the Parkhead post earlier this week, after Celtic made contact with the Norwegian’s current employers.

Deila is under contract with the club until 2016 but with the Bhoys in discussions over a compensation package for the Norwegian Premier League side, it appeared that an agreement was imminent.

That deal could well have been reached now, with Fjortoft taking to social media site Twitter to reveal that the Hoops are set to announced Deila’s appointment in the next 24 hours.

"I understand Ronny Deila will officially be named the new Celtic-manager tomorrow. #celtic," the former Swindon Town favourite tweeted.

The 38-year-old represents something of a gamble for the Scottish Premiership champions, having never played or managed outside of his native Norway.

Deila is the latest manager to be linked to the vacant Celtic job, with ex-Hoops hero Henrik Larsson the initial favourite to land the role.

But after the Swede opted against a move to Parkhead this early in his managerial career the attention turned to Manchester United legend Roy Keane.

However the Irishman, who played for Celtic prior to his retirement, opted against the move and now looks set to be appointed assistant manager at Aston Villa.

Those developments have cleared the way for Deila to take the Parkhead hotseat ahead of another season in which Celtic will be expected to deliver domestic success and compete in the Champions League.

One of Deila’s first priorities could be to recruit a new striker, with the club shorn of options following the departure of Georgios Samaras.

One potential option could be Gary Hooper, with the Norwich striker rumoured to be keen on a move away from the Carrow Road club, having failed to settle since his £5 million move from Celtic last summer.

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