NEIL Lennon is on the verge of leaving Hibernian after Sunday’s final Premiership game of the season against Rangers.

We understand that the Easter Road board of directors now have a fight on their hands to keep their respected manager beyond even next week, such is the frustration felt by the Northern Irishman regarding the direction he fears the club is heading for next season.

Lennon is demanding stonewall guarantees that he will have funds to adequately replace up to six first-team players who could leave during the summer, or he is going to walk away two years before the contract he signed just last year ends in 2020.

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But if he is unconvinced that proper funds are going to allow him to continue and improve on his work of the last two campaigns, which have included a promotion and two cup semi-finals, then he will walk away, as he hinted in the wake of Wednesday’s derby defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle.

Lennon’s shock admission that he was considering his future was not, as has been suggested in some quarters, a knee-jerk reaction to the 2-1 loss.

He has been considering his Hibs' future for months and is prepared to leave the job without having another one lined up.

If Brendan Rodgers were to leave Celtic this summer then Lennon would be one of the favourites to replace him four years after he left the club.

At the time, his relationship with power broker Dermot Desmond had collapsed but that over the years has been repaired and there are many inside Celtic Park who believe a more mature and experienced Lennon would be the perfect man to step into Rodgers’s shoes should a big club in England or Europe tempt him away from Glasgow.

Lennon’s concern is that he will be left without Dylan McGeouch, who can leave for free next month, and talisman John McGinn, who the manager has been told will be sold during the transfer window if a club can match Hibs’ asking price of £5m.

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Ironically, McGinn could end up at Celtic if the likes of Tom Rogic and/or Stuart Armstrong move on in the summer.

Another issue is the four loan players at Hibs, Scott Allan, Brandon Barker, Florian Kamberi and Jamie Maclaren, who could all return to their parent clubs.

Lennon chose the after-match press conference at Tynecastle to reveal publicly his frustration at what he believes is a lack of ambition in Leith.

“I don’t know what is going to happen,” he admitted. “We’ve got a board meeting next week. So we’ll see.

“Nothing last forever but I’ve been here two years and made great strides. But I’ve got to think about myself. Maybe a I'm a bit over-emotional but fourth (place in the Premiership) isn’t good enough.

“I don’t know what the board want. We haven’t had targets set for next season. I don’t know the budget is for next season. I don’t know budget is for this season, to be honest.”