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decision time Eddie Howe vs Roy Keane in a battle to take over as Celtic manager

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Eddie Howe worked wonders at Bournemouth (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Eddie Howe worked wonders at Bournemouth (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Eddie Howe worked wonders at Bournemouth (Clive Brunskill/PA)

Roy Keane appears to be in a straight fight with Eddie Howe to be named as the next Celtic manager.

Former Ireland and Celtic midfielder Keane is believed to be a leading contender to take over from the departed Neil Lennon, as he looks to return to frontline management for the first time in a decade.

Yet bookies received a rush of bets on former Bournemouth boss Howe to pip him to the post last night, after he confirmed he was ready to move to Scotland.

Howe has been strongly linked with a move to replace under-fire Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, but he may be seen as a safer bet than Keane.

Yet former Ireland captain Andy Townsend has backed his old team-mate to shine if he gets the Newcastle job.

"I've always felt that Roy had the ability to be a top manager and I genuinely still feel that," Townsend told the Sunday World.

"Keano has still got a bit of unfinished business as a manager and he could be perfect for what Celtic need."

Leading bookmakers stopped taking bets on Keane being named as the next Celtic manager as rumours swept through the football grapevine on Friday.

Yet it seems the final decision has yet to made ahead of a summer that will see a major overhaul at Parkhead, with chief executive Peter Lawwell stepping down to be replaced by Dominic McKay.

It has yet to be confirmed whether McKay will be given a role in appointing the next Celtic manager, even though he is not due to take up his new role until July 1st.

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