Forget it! Norwich warned by Celtic that Lennon will not be leaving Scottish champions
21:30 GMT, 1 June 2012
Celtic have no fears over interest in Neil Lennon from Norwich City after telling the Premiership side not to waste their time making an approach for the Parkhead boss.
Sportsmail reported that Norwich had placed Lennon on a shortlist of candidates for the managerial post soon to be vacated with Paul Lambert’s move to Aston Villa.
Yet, while they see Lennon as the perfect replacement for his erstwhile Parkhead team-mate, Norwich have been told not to even bother picking up the phone as Celtic major shareholder Dermot Desmond — who held strategic talks with Lennon in Ireland earlier this week — is prepared to offer no encouragement.
Stay away! Celtic do not want an approach from Norwich over Neil Lennon
The link between the two clubs extends beyond the dugout, with Norwich chief executive David McNally a former commercial director at Parkhead.
And on Friday, McNally said: ‘Celtic and Norwich City get on marvellously well. We had a great day here last week celebrating Adam Drury’s testimonial, the two sets of fans get on brilliantly.
‘I can confirm that no approach has been made for Neil Lennon. If we were interested in talking to Celtic about Neil, who is a great manager, we would go straight to them privately.’
Lennon’s agent Martin Reilly insists the Parkhead boss is in no hurry to leave Celtic, saying: ‘Neil is enjoying being manager of Celtic and relishing the opportunity of leading the team in the Champions League.
‘I’ve had no contact from David or anyone else at Norwich.’
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are attempting to avoid paying compensation for Lambert, believing they have a case due to a clause in the Scot’s contract which they are exploiting to escape handing over yet more money for a succession of managers.
Champions: Lennon led Celtic to the Scottish Premier League title
Lambert’s deal with the Canaries allowed him to talk to any other interested parties in the Premier League if the Norfolk club was approached.
As he was denied that permission, he resigned. Villa claim Norwich were the first to breach the terms of their own deal. That rendered the contract void, say Villa.
In their last set of accounts, Villa revealed that they had spent 12million on payments to their former bosses, including monies to Martin O’Neill, Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish.
The managerial moving of chairs in England could impact on another Scottish club, however.
Sportsmail can reveal Graeme Jones will be offered the chance to replace Brendan Rodgers at Swansea and he is drawing up plans to install Hamilton boss Billy Reid as his No 2.
Jones worked as assistant to Reid at Hamilton and wants to recreate their managerial partnership, with the roles reversed, at the Liberty Stadium.