DAVID Moyes, the odds-on favourite to replace Ronny Deila as Celtic manager, told the Celtic board last night that he plans to keep his options open until the summer - just as Roy Keane hinted that he is desperate to return to day-to-day club management after this summer’s European Championship finals.

The 52-year-old former Everton, Manchester United and Real Sociedad boss, part of the Sky Sports team for the Merseyside derby, has emerged as the popular choice to replace the Norwegian when he leaves the club this summer but is also thought to be attracted by the vacancy at Aston Villa among others. He would say last night that there were "lots of jobs that would interest me".

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"Celtic is a brilliant football club, a great football club with unbelievable support and fanbase," said Moyes, who has previously spoken about the need for the Parkhead squad to be upgraded. "It is one of the biggest in the world but I am going to wait until the summer time and make a decision in the summer time so there is no hurry. There are lots of jobs that would interest me and like I say Celtic is a great club."

Read more: The rise and fall of Ronny Deila

Keane, meanwhile, assistant manager to Martin O'Neill with the Republic of Ireland, who briefly played for the club during the 2005-06 season, was told the job was his by Parkhead majority shareholder Dermot Desmond prior to the arrival of the Norwegian two years ago and it would be a huge surprise if the Irish billionaire did not sound him out again this time around. Celtic's first Champions League qualifier comes just three days after the end of Euro 2016.

"I've two jobs, ITV and Ireland. No comment," said Keane, who like Martin O'Neill is only under contract with the FAI until after Euro 2016. "I have a contract with the FAI until the end of the summer and that’s what I’m focusing on at the moment and won’t be taking my eye off the ball.


“Of course I’m really enjoying learning from Martin [O’Neill] but the best place for me to learn is back in the hot seat - not so much in the long term but in the shorter term," he added. "I don’t want to be the assistant manager for the next 20 years but I am enjoying the current role."

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The main runners and riders wasted little time in jockeying for position after the formal announcement from the Parkhead club that Deila had decided to leave the club at the end of this campaign, his second in charge. It came just days after the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers, at a time when the Norwegian is closing in on his second successive Ladbrokes Premiership title. Celtic hold an eight-point lead on Aberdeen with five games to play.

Deila's predecessor Neil Lennon, meanwhile, could be open to a sensational return to the club where he spent four years in charge before leaving in the summer of 2014. He refuted the suggestion he was touting himself for the job but said he would be happy to speak to the board about the position.

Read more: Ronny Deila's departure opens the door for me at Celtic, says Anthony Stokes

"I'm not promoting myself for the job," said Lennon, who is out of work after his departure from Bolton Wanderers. "But if I get the chance to speak to the Celtic board then I will. I had 15 years with the club on and off, so I have a great affinity with the club. I would know what I'm walking into. I would imagine they [the board] would want to find a successor as soon as possible with the Champions League qualifiers coming so early again."

The Northern Irishman feels better equipped with the perspective of a difficult 18 months in Lancashire behind him and said he was unsurprised about the news of Deila's departure. "They didn't really handle the big games well enough this season and I think that's been the main problem for him," said Lennon.

Other names in the frame included Henrik Larsson, reportedly under pressure at Swedish club Helsingborgs, although the Swede also remained tight lipped last night. "There's no point to me speculating on anything like that – I'm focusing on the Helsingborgs job," he said. "My contract here is until the winter of 2017."

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Malky Mackay, who was sacked by Wigan Athletic in April, has recently spoken about the attraction of the Celtic post, while Owen Coyle, now of Houston Dynamo, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, Hibs boss Alan Stubbs and Brendan Rodgers have also been linked. One shock name also doing the rounds last night was Steve Evans, the manager of Leeds United.

Although all things pointed to the contrary, Deila's agent Tore Pedersen told the Norwegian press that Deila had not been sacked and was not under pressure from the boardroom to resign. "He has not been sacked," said Pedersen. "Ronny could have continued if he wanted. He has determined that this decision is the best for both him and the club."