Malky Mackay has become the second high-profile former Celtic player to admit publicly that he wants to succeed Ronny Deila at the Premiership leaders.
Neil Lennon, Deila’s predecessor as manager, told BBC Scotland this week that he would like his job back once Deila leaves at the end of the season.
Now Mackay, sacked by Wigan Athletic a year ago, has firmed up his interest.
“If Celtic wanted to talk to me, I’d certainly be keen to do that,” the 44-year-old told Sky Sports News.
He was speaking after Deila announced last week that he would stand down in the summer.
David Moyes, the former Everton and Manchester United manager sacked by Real Sociedad in November, remains the bookmakers’ favourite for the job.
But the 52-year-old former Celtic defender, who is also believed to be interested in the vacancy at Aston Villa, said last week that he would be keeping his options open before making a decision about his future in the close season.
While refusing to talk specifically about the Celtic job, Republic of Ireland assistant Roy Keane, who had a short spell as as player with the Glasgow club and turned down the job before Deila’s appointment in 2014, admitted that he would like to return to club management.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill also refused to field questions about the summer vacancy and Steve Clarke, the former West Bromwhich Albion boss who was sacked by Reading, has had his odds slashed by one major bookmaker that is making him third favourite behind Moyes and Lennon.
Former Watford and Cardiff City boss Mackay recently told BBC Scotland that he wished a quick return to club management and that Celtic was a “huge, worldwide job”.
“I think the next five-year period at Celtic is a crucial one,” he expanded on Sky.
“I think a record 10 titles in a row is achievable and a strong focus should be there.
“But, for that to happen, I think there is a detailed and strategic plan needed going forward.
“I think I could help with that and bring a fresh approach.
“I’ve got an understanding of the club and an ability for that to happen.”