IT has long been rumoured that all is not well at Celtic Park.
The gossip is that Brendan Rodgers, having grown fed up of not getting his way in the transfer market at Celtic, could soon be on his way to the Premier League faster than a disgruntled manager can distance himself from an unwanted signing.
Apparently Leicester City is his most-likely destination.
But hang on a second…
If Leicester are looking to Scotland for their next manager, would Brendan definitely be their first choice?
If you’d asked me six months ago, I’d have said yes.
But I reckon Steve Clarke has now done enough at Kilmarnock to be worthy of serious consideration.
Steve learned his craft at the feet of Jose Mourinho, has already managed in the Premier League and has worked miracles at Killie.
I’d guess he’d also be a damn sight cheaper than Brendan, in terms of compensation due.
So if I were chief executive of a team like Leicester, Clarke would definitely be on my shortlist.
But let’s be honest – there’s no doubt that Brendan would be, too.
Clarke’s stock has risen.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Brendan’s has fallen at the same time.
I know for a fact the Celtic boss is held in high regard by many clubs in England.
I’ve heard enough club insiders talk him up to know he’s still seen as a serious candidate for the vast majority of Premier League jobs.
And there certainly seems – at least on the surface – as if there’s a problem at Parkhead between the manager and those holding the club’s purse strings.
Why else would Rodgers seek to distance himself from Celtic’s pursuit of Ukrainian winger Maryan Shved?
Rodgers’ response to reports of a proposed £1.75 million swoop – confirming the story, but effectively saying he doesn’t need the guy right now – was very strange.
Brendan is a very intelligent man, a man who chooses his words very carefully.
So it’s hard to escape the feeling there was a message buried not too far beneath the surface of his response to Shved’s potential arrival.
Rodgers has admitted he wasn’t happy with Celtic’s transfer business in the summer.
I’d imagine he would have seen January as a chance to put that right.
It doesn’t sound to me like his expectations are being met – and that could certainly cause Celtic a problem.
I still think Celtic will be too strong for Rangers between now and the end of the season.
Even with the high-profile signings Steven Gerrard has made, the Hoops should have enough strength-in-depth to win the title.
But if Brendan looks across the Clyde and sees his Rangers counterpart being backed in the market, while he feels his desires are being ignored, he won’t be happy.
If that turns out to be the case, I think it will become a case of when, rather than if, Brendan leaves Celtic for another job.
I’m sure there are things going on at Parkhead I don’t know about.
Maybe this whole thing has been blown out of proportion and everything is fine.
Everyone knows I’m a Celtic fan – and a Brendan Rodgers fan – so I hope that is the case.
But I can’t help but wonder whether there’s trouble at Paradise.