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Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers lines up Damien Duff as his new reserve coach

Damien Duff (Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Damien Duff (Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

DAMIEN DUFF is to join Celtic’s coaching staff.

The Hoops have been looking for a replacement for reserve team coach Shaun Maloney, who quit in September to go and work for Belgium.

Irish legend Duff, a lifelong fan of the club, was part of a five-man shortlist who were interviewed for the job and is understood to have won out over the applicants.

As a result, the Dubliner will quit his current role as a youth coach with Shamrock Rovers and come to the UK to take up his position next month.

The role will see the 39-year-old reunited with Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers.

The pair worked together in the Chelsea Academy and have stayed in contact ever since.

Rodgers already has his assistant Chris Davies and former Celtic star John Kennedy on his staff.

Duff, who won a 100 caps for the Republic of Ireland in an international career spanning 14 years, has made no secret of his desire and work with Celtic.

It would, he has said publicly, be a fantastic opportunity for anyone.

He got in the mood last week when visiting Celtic Park to see the Europa League tie against Salzburg, which the Hoops lost 2-1 yet still managed to progess to the competition’s last 32.

Their opponents will become clear on Monday when the draw for the next round is held in Nyon, Switzerland.

Among possible opponents for the Scottish champions are Arsenal, Chelsea, Napoli and Inter Milan.

While that will be an exciting event, manager Rodgers is still waiting to find out the full extent of Ryan Christie’s injury.

The midfielder had to be stretchered off after hurting his ankle during the loss to Salzburg.

And while intial X-rays have shown that he did not – as feared – break the joint, there is still concern the 23-year-old may have suffered ligament damage or hurt his Achilles.

A second scan has been carried out, with news expected early in the week.

The injury came at a time when Christie had been in great form for both club and country, having played a leading role in Scotland’s Nations League wins over Albania and Israel.

Rodgers spoke initially of his fears the injury would be a bad one but with the winter break coming up after the Old Firm derby, will hope his player has a chance to come back and play a role in the push for both the Treble and a longer run in the Europe.