Neil Lennon Officially Parts Ways with Celtic, Henrik Larsson Tipped to Return

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2014

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10:  Celtic manager Neil Lennon faces the media ahead their UEFA Champions League Group H match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at the Camp Nou Stadium on December 10, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has ended his memorable reign with the Scottish champions, prompting speculation that Hoops legend Henrik Larsson will replace him.

As reported by Keith Jackson in the Daily Record on Thursday:

Neil Lennon has officially left his post as Celtic manager.

News broke of Lennon’s departure today after almost four years in charge of the reigning Scottish champions, following days of speculation about his future.

The 42-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to relegated English side Norwich City and top flight West Bromwich Albion.

BBC Sport reported Lennon's comments as he confirmed his departure from the club:

The Northern Irishman took over at Celtic Park on a permanent basis in June 2010 after he had seen out the previous season as caretaker manager following Tony Mowbray's departure. 

He won three consecutive league titles with Celtic as well as leading them through to the last 16 of the 2012-13 Champions League, claiming a famous victory over Barcelona in the process.

Squawka provides the quite remarkable Scottish Premier League win percentage Lennon achieved during his time at the club:

Larsson, who spent seven very successful years at Celtic as a player, is currently the bookies' favourite to fill Lennon's vacated post, per Alan Douglas in the Daily Mail.

Between 1997 and 2004, he scored 242 goals for the Glasgow outfit and was voted by Celtic fans as one of the club's greatest players, per Gregor Kyle in the Daily Record.

However, Hakan Nilsson, sports director of Falkensbergs—the club at which Larsson currently manages—denied there has been any contact from Celtic regarding the Swede's future.

Former Wigan and Bolton boss Owen Coyle, currently unattached, is also being linked with the position, per talkSport's James Fielden:

A great deal of speculation now surrounds Lennon's next post with Norwich and West Brom in the mix as well as French club Monaco, per Bleacher Report UK:

The link to the Canaries has existed ever since the Norfolk outfit's relegation to the Championship, with 101 Great Goals seemingly backing the move:

However, there are many who believe he should be testing himself in the Premier League, with the manager-less Baggies seemingly a good fit, per Football365's Daniel Storey:

Wherever Lennon eventually ends up he has proved himself to be an adept manager as his record with Celtic certainly proves.

However, the fact he has left Celtic to move to potentially a lowly Premier League side or even a Championship side is a poor reflection on the state of Scottish football.

Lennon will no doubt be missed by the Celtic fans after bringing such success to the club, but if Larsson takes up the mantel there would be great joy in the green and white half of Glasgow.