Celtic‘s bid to make Eddie Howe their next manager has failed after a breakdown in talks with the former Bournemouth boss.
The club are now pursuing other options and are in advanced talks with another candidate over taking over at Parkhead.
STV understands the collapse centres on Howe’s backroom team, Stephen Purches and Simon Weatherstone, not making the move north.
A statement from Celtic said: “Following very positive and detailed discussions with Eddie Howe, with the belief that he would be an excellent candidate for the position of Celtic manager, we allowed time for the process, given he’d previously made it clear he was not looking to return to management until this summer at the earliest.
“We can now confirm that Eddie will not be joining the club, for reasons outwith both his and Celtic’s control.
“We wish Eddie success for the future. As part of the ongoing process we have engaged with a number of candidates.
“We fully appreciate our fans will be seeking clarity on this matter and we aim, very shortly, to announce the appointment of a manager with the quality and desire to take Celtic forward and bring further success to our supporters.”
Howe had been identified as the man to spearhead Celtic’s push to revive their fortunes after a disastrous season.
The 43-year-old made his name by transforming Bournemouth from a side that was on the verge of being relegated from the English Football League to one that enjoyed a five-year stay in the Premiership, finishing ninth in 2016-17. He was in charge from 2008 to 2020, barring an unsuccessful 19-month spell at Burnley from 2011 to 2012.
A club legend at Dean Court, Howe was named as Football League Manager of the Decade in 2015.
Celtic had a principal agreement for the Englishman to take over this summer but are now being forced to explore other options.
The club have been looking to appoint a new boss since the departure of Neil Lennon in February. Lennon quit with the side trailing Rangers by 18 points in the league and the team’s hopes of securing a tenth successive league title in tatters.
The club also lost their grip of the domestic cup competitions, exiting the League Cup and Scottish Cup in the early rounds.
With coach John Kennedy placed in interim charge of the first team, the search for a new manager began and the position was to be part of a widespread overhaul of the club.
Chief executive Peter Lawwell is to leave this summer and is being succeeded by Dominic McKay, while Celtic are aiming to appoint a sporting or technical director as part of a new structure behind the scenes.
The new manager will also see a major change to the playing squad, with a number of players leaving at the end of their loan spell, or expected to move to other clubs.
Club captain Scott Brown has already agreed a move to Aberdeen.
Former Celtic player Roy Keane has previously been linked with the job and has recently indicated his readiness to return to management, but STV understands he is not being considered.