Why former Portsmouth favourite Richard Hughes is key to Eddie Howe's Celtic negotiations

Former Pompey midfielder Richard Hughes is believed to be a key factor in Eddie Howe’s continuing Celtic negotiations.

By Mark McMahon
Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 11:17 am
Former Pompey midfielder Richard Hughes. Picture:Steve Reid
Former Pompey midfielder Richard Hughes. Picture:Steve Reid

Howe is expected to be named as Neil Lennon’s successor at Parkhead, with the Scottish Sun claiming that the 43-year-old has verbally agreed in principle to become their new boss.

A deal could be struck this week with the former Bournemouth manager.

But it’s been reported that a role Hughes – a former Fratton favourite – in Howe’s set-up forms part of his ongoing talks with the Scottish giants.

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The former Scotland international, who made 165 appearances for the Blues between 2002 and 2011, has worked with Celtic’s top managerial target for spells throughout his career.

Their careers first crossed at PO4, where they were Pompey team-mates for two years.

Howe then signed Hughes for Bournemouth following the latter’s Fratton Park departure after nine seasons in 2011.

Eddie Howe is being lined up to become the new Celtic manager. Picture: Ian Walton/Pool via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Glasgow-born Hughes worked with his then former boss when he was made the Cherries’ technical director in 2014 following his retirement from playing.

That relationship ended when Howe parted company with Bournemouth at the end of last season.

But it’s the former Burnley manager’s hope that it will be restarted north of the border at Celtic.

It’s understood that the Hoops hierarchy are open to the idea, with a director of football and head of recruitment part of their restructuring plans.

Yet, it might mean tearing up plans already in place, with Manchester City’s Fergal Harkin one of the names already mentioned.

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