If Ange Postecoglou navigates the remainder of his managerial career as deftly as he handled questions about Tottenham Hotspur, he won’t do too badly at all.

It was he himself who used the phrase ‘junk time’ when asked to offer an opinion on what Rangers might do in this summer’s transfer window last week, so with credible reports emanating from North London that Spurs have reached the Celtic manager on their big list of names to replace Antonio Conte, he will have known there’d be only a single topic on the agenda for Friday’s sit down with the daily newspapers.

Except this latest linking of Postecoglou to the Premier League doesn’t feel like idle speculation which can be traced back to who is being priced up by the bookies. And there is no denying that, should Tottenham firm up their interest with a formal approach, he would have a monumental decision to make.

Postecoglou is acutely aware of his near-deified standing among Celtic fans, aware that supporting a football team in this part of the world is not just 90 minutes at the weekend, but woven into the very fabric of society. In short, he knows how much it matters.

He loves it here and is clearly relishing the opportunity not only to win copious amounts of silverware, but the challenge of re-establishing Celtic as some kind of European force. It is not something he would leave behind on a whim.

And yet, for reasons which now seem a complete mystery, he is a 57-year-old in the third decade of a managerial career which saw him afforded a first opportunity to work in a European top-flight less than two years ago. In other words, he is a manager for whom opportunity – on this continent, at least – has not regularly come knocking.

The chance to work in the Premier League, at a club of Spurs’ standing and wealth, is not something he would be able to dismiss out of hand. As he spoke on Friday, he didn’t outright dismiss it – but why would he? Until this whole thing moves beyond Daniel Levy simply allowing his club’s interest to become public knowledge, there is little Postecoglou can really say about it.

Keeping a healthy distance between yourself and thoughts of anything beyond the immediate future is probably the only way to function as a manager, anyway, given how precarious an existence they lead these days.

“I’ve never taken [this job] for granted, never looked too far ahead and never worried about the next step,” he said. “I know that if I don’t worry about what’s happening here right now my future gets taken out of my hands.

READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou 'won't put timeline' on Celtic future amid Spurs link

“I don’t get to decide anything, other people decide it. I have been determined my whole career to have my destiny in my own hands. 

“I wouldn’t like to lose control of that.”

But is that mindset influenced by the fact he can never know what offers might be around the corner?

“It’s not even about what offers I get, it’s about sort of how I feel or how the club feels,” said Postecolou. “If we don’t start well next year and we are second and you guys start putting the heat on me then the club starts thinking about my future. 

“That’s the reality of it, the truth. 

“I don’t live in some universe where I think I am untouchable. That’s the reality and you deal with it. 

 “And that’s why I have always made sure that my efforts and consciousness is focused in the here and now. I don’t worry about tomorrow. 

“Look at the Premiership this year and how many managers started and finished the year? Not many.”

He does understand, however, that the fear he may not be around to start the next one is unsettling for his adoring public.

‘I understand that,” he insisted. "It’s only natural and I guess it’s the same with players. 

 “As a manager I love to think that we will keep all our players for the start of next year, but the reality is that it probably won’t happen. I think it’s the nature of football and we understand that. 

“But whatever the future holds for me or anyone else this football club continues to exist, it continues to be successful. That doesn’t change.”

If there was an element of Tottenham sticking their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing about this week’s revelations, they’ll have found a hint of what awaited Postecoglou when he moved from Japan to Scotland. Then manager of Yokohama F. Marinos, not everyone was convinced when Celtic appointed him back in June 2021.

READ MORE: Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou quizzed on Tottenham job links

The stick with which Scottish football is eternally beaten with south of the border is anyone could win the league with Celtic, interspersed with ramblings about a ‘pub league’.

It will not shock you to learn Postecoglou does not subscribe to that particularly monotonous narrative.

"To be fair you guys did that with what I did in Japan and what I did in Australia,” Postecoglou quipped. “That’s just the nature of football.  Everyone thinks that where they are is the centre of the universe. It’s not something that has bothered me, either people see what I do or they don’t. 

“If they want to find a reason to dismiss the success, whether that’s here or Japan or Australia, then they will find that reason. 

 “Or, you could look at it and say every league is a competition and you’ve still got to beat the other teams to be champions. The one thing I’ve learned is that the Scottish league isn’t an easy league. 

“I keep preferring to Gio (van Bronckhorst). Gio won the league with Feyenoord, then got to a Europa League final with Rangers and won a Scottish Cup Final and finished second in the league.  And he gets the sack. 

“People don’t understand the sort of pressure that exists here for Rangers and ourselves. 

 “That’s pretty unique and the effect of that is that every week you are facing an opponent who sees you as a big scalp. And if you are off it, as we have been for the last couple of weeks, that’s what happens.” 

But just as he is unperturbed by any unfavourable perceptions of himself and his work, Postecoglou is not a man to feel flattered just because he’s making headline news in Premier League circles.

“Well, if you seek that kind of thing…” he said. “That doesn’t really rock my boat. Being on the back pages of papers isn’t what drives me.

“All I have ever tried to do is the job I have to the best of my ability, bring success and rejoice in that. Not worry about what happens next, or when it happens, or if it happens.

“When you do that, you miss the opportunity of where you are at right now. The most important recognition of what I do comes from the people I am representing.

“If the people at the club and the supporters are recognising what I do, that’s all I need.

What is perhaps most reassuring for Celtic fans at this stage, is there can be no question Postecoglou is genuine in proclaiming how content he is in his current surroundings. On Saturday, he and his players will collect a second consecutive Premiership title after a final day outing against Aberdeen.

Next week, it’s back to Hampden as the prospect of a treble hangs over the Scottish Cup final with Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Beyond that, the manager has made no secret of his ambition to make waves in the Champions League.

“I still enjoy what I do and I am passionate about it,” he insisted. “I am really passionate about building teams and what we have done in the last two years, it’s easy to think it’s been a seamless transition back to success.

“But we know it wasn’t. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get us to this point. In many respects, it’s still the early stages. For a lot of the boys, they are only one or two years into a career at this level.

“The best is ahead of them, so you kinda go, ‘Okay, let’s see what potential they can reach?’ That takes the whole club to another level.”