Lennon eager for Celtic talks after Deila decision

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Neil Lennon is keen to talk to Celtic over a return as manager of the Scottish Premiership champions.

Under-fire boss Ronnie Deila announced he would stand down at the end of this season on Wednesday, in the aftermath of a damaging Scottish Cup semi-final defeat on penalties to bitter rivals Rangers.

And Lennon - who won three league titles, two Scottish Cups and masterminded a run to the last-16 of the Champions League during a four-year stint in charge at Celtic Park - wasted little time in putting himself forward as a potential successor to the man he made way for after the 2013-14 campaign.

Asked by Sky Sports News if he would like to take on the Celtic post once more, the 44-year-old said: "That's the $54million question. I've never hid my affinity for the club.

"So, would I like to go back if the opportunity arose and I had the opportunity to speak to the board? Absolutely."

Lennon left now-relegated Championship club Bolton by mutual consent last month and he has sympathy with Deila, who is unlikely to be fondly remembered at Celtic Park even if he closes out back-to-back Premiership titles as expected.

"It's been a rollercoaster for him," Lennon added. "I'm sure he will have enjoyed the fantastic experience of managing one of the greatest clubs around and I'm sure the club will wish him well.

"He's had fantastic highs and a few lows along the way, but that's the nature of being Celtic manager.

"There's not many better jobs around. Maybe in another part of the club's history he might have had a better chance of fulfilling his ambitions or expectations, but in terms of sympathy I have sympathy for him in the fact he is losing a fantastic job, but not for him going in there and taking the job on."