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Manchester City coach Enzo Maresca tight-lipped about Celtic vacancy

© Paul Greenwood/BPI/ShutterstockEnzo Maresca
Enzo Maresca

Enzo Maresca, the dark horse in the race for the Celtic manager’s job, has declined to either confirm or deny his interest in the post.

At odds as short as 10/1 with the bookmakers, the former Juventus and Sampdoria midfielder is a short-priced contender considering he is yet to be a manager in his own right.

The 41-year-old Italian does hold top-class coaching credentials. He was Manuel Pellegrini’s No. 2 at West Ham and has also been assistant manager of Seville.

However, it is his current position in charge of Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad that has brought him into contact with the Hoops.

They signed Jeremie Frimpong from the English title favourites then went on to sell him for a huge profit to Bayer Leverkusen. Before then, they had Patrick Roberts up on loan.

More recently, too, City’s football partnerships manager Fergal Harkin has been linked with a new director of football role at Celtic.

However, while Maresca is on record about his desire to one day go it alone, he stated through his agent he did not wish to comment on his future as he was focused on his current job.

More willing to discuss the Celtic job is his countryman Walter Mazzarri, the former Watford, Napoli and Inter Milan manager.

Currently between jobs following a stint with Torino, he said he was available to listen to, and evaluate, any proposal from a club of their tradition and size.

© PA
Celtic interim manager John Kennedy on the touchline

John Kennedy won his first game in caretaker charge yesterday with a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen at Celtic Park.

If their success could not exactly be called explosive, the match was a flat affair settled by an early goal from Odsonne Edouard. But the clean sheet gave Kennedy cause to be satisfied.

And the former Celtic and Scotland centre-half singled out Kris Ajer for special praise, hinting at hopes of keeping him at the club.

“Kris was terrific, especially in the second half when Aberdeen put us under pressure,” said Kennedy.

“I’ve known him since he came in here as a kid on trial. He’s a great character and a leader, in terms of how he works and conducts himself.

“We know he’s a good footballer but we’ve always tried to work on his aggression the box.

“Kris isn’t overly thinking about his future. For him it’s just about giving his best wherever he is.

“I’ve no doubt that there will be interest in him. He’s still very young and he’s an international player.

“With his profile of speed, size, technique and ability there’s going to be interest in him.

“When that comes it’ll be the club and Kris himself making that decision.

“It’s important for the club going forward to keep players like him.