Celtic boss Rodgers closes in on vacant Leicester job

Celtic boss Rodgers closes in on vacant Leicester job
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Celtic Press Conference - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Britain - February 13, 2019 Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo Copyright Lee Smith(Reuters)
Copyright Lee Smith(Reuters)
By Reuters
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(Reuters) - Brendan Rodgers looks set to become Leicester City's new manager after Celtic "reluctantly" gave him permission to speak to the Premier League club on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old Northern Irishman has been linked with the position at the King Power Stadium since Leicester sacked Claude Puel on Sunday, following their 4-1 home league defeat by Crystal Palace.

"Brendan has indicated to the club that this is an opportunity he wishes to investigate further and therefore, very reluctantly, the club has granted him permission to speak to Leicester City," Celtic said in a statement

Puel left Leicester after going seven matches without a win in all competitions, a run that left the Foxes 12th in the league standings, eight points above the relegation zone.

For Rodgers, it would be his first position in the Premier League since being sacked by Liverpool in October 2015. Prior to Liverpool he was in charge at Swansea City, where he promoted a brand of possession-based play inspired by his interest in Spanish football.

Since arriving at Parkhead in 2016, Rodgers has won two league titles, three Scottish League Cups and two Scottish Cups.

His likely return to the Premier League at Leicester City may be a rare case of a club making the perfect appointment: He is young enough to have the hunger and desire to succeed and experienced enough from his time at Swansea and Liverpool to ensure he is ready for what the League can throw at a manager.

Celtic are currently eight points clear of local rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership as they chase an eighth consecutive top division title.

They reached the group stages of the Champions League in Rodgers' first two campaigns but were eliminated by AEK Athens in the third qualifying round this season.

Earlier this month, Celtic were knocked out of the Europa League at the last 32 stage for the second successive season after being beaten by Valencia.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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