Celtic boss Neil Lennon cools speculation over Everton vacancy

 

Celtic's Neil Lennon has moved to cool speculation linking him with the Everton managerial vacancy.

The 41-year-old has been linked with the hot seat following confirmation of David Moyes's impending switch to Manchester United.

Lennon said: "That's all it is, speculation. I've got a great support, group of players and I'm happy here.

"We're already looking at Champions League preparation and bringing in new players."

It's nice recognition. Roberto Martinez was favourite yesterday and I'm favourite today, it could be someone else tomorrow.

Neil Lennon

The Northern Irishman, who became Celtic boss in 2010 initially on a caretaker basis, has guided the Bhoys to the Scottish Premier League title for a second successive season and could secure the double with victory over Hibernian at Hampden.

Lennon, who has a rolling contract at Celtic, added: "You never know what's around the corner but I'm in a stable job here with good backing from the board and a good group of players.

"Of course, it is nice recognition. Roberto Martinez was favourite yesterday and I'm favourite today, it could be someone else tomorrow.

"I've managed in the Champions League, the Europa League and won back to back titles so it's for other people to decide whether they think I've got the experience to manage in the Premier League or elsewhere.

"If I'm here next season, you look to improve every season and I think we have done. We've progressed this season on and off the field: the Champions League, we've won the league, we're in a cup final and the only setback we've had has been the semi-final against St Mirren in the League Cup.

"Tomorrow (being presented with the Premier League trophy) is a significant day for the players, supporters and myself. I want them to enjoy it but I want them to win the game and play well."

Last month, the Celtic manager said talks over his future were on hold until after the Scottish Cup final against Hibs.

Meanwhile, French defender Steven Mouyokolo has been training with the Celtic squad.

The 26-year-old centre-back is a free agent after his contract with Wolves was terminated by mutual consent in January.

"I knew Steven from his time at Hull and Wolves," said Lennon. "We liked him then and he's had a few injury setbacks in the last year or so.

"The opportunity came to bring him in and have a look and that's exactly what we're doing at the minute."

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has ruled himself out of the running to take over at Everton this summer, while Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has also been linked with a move to Goodison.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said: "Eleven years ago I made a decision [to appoint Moyes] and it was an instant decision. I don't think that can happen this time.

"We have to see what candidates are out there to take the club forward."