FRANK MCAVENNIE has urged Celtic to drop their interest in Eddie Howe if the former Bournemouth manager won’t give them a quick answer on taking over at the club.

Howe is the Celtic board’s preferred candidate to succeed Neil Lennon, but reports emerging from England last week suggested that the 43-year-old wants to hold off on making a decision on his future until the summer.

According to McAvennie, Celtic simply cannot afford to wait that long to start the rebuild of the squad after losing the league title this season, and if Howe wants to hedge his bets and wait for a possible vacancy in the English Premier League then Celtic should look elsewhere.

“I think he’s not going to make a decision until the summer,” McAvennie said. “But I don’t think that’s good enough.

“I would be happy with Eddie Howe, really happy. I think he is a good manager and he plays the kind of football that Celtic want to play.

“If he asks for time to think about it then give him a couple of days or a couple of weeks. But if he starts asking for a couple of months so he can speak to Newcastle United or Crystal Palace, then drop him!

“I hope Celtic have not put all their eggs in one basket because if he’s going to start speaking to other teams then you don’t really want that.

“Especially if he is not going to speak to teams like Newcastle or Crystal Palace until the summer when they decide what they are going to do with the managers that are in there.

“At the moment, Celtic have John Kennedy, which is fine. He’s doing a good job. He [Howe] could come in right away but he can’t do that down in England.

“If he’s waiting for a bigger offer from one of the big clubs then I think Celtic is a bigger club that Newcastle and Crystal Palace.”