NEIL LENNON'S position as Celtic manager is hanging by thread after Sunday's miserable defeat to Ross County.
The Hoops were beaten 1-0 to all but end their slim chances of a TENTH Scottish Premiership title in a row.
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The result leaves Celtic trailing arch-rivals Rangers by 18 points with eight games remaining.
Steven Gerrard's side need just seven points to win the title and they could clinch it in the Old Firm derby if they win their next two fixtures.
And with Lennon's tenure under increasing scrutiny, bookmakers Betfair have updated their market on who could be appointed his successor.
Rafa Benitez and Steve Clarke are the leading contenders, both locked together at 11/10.
However, the duo are on very different trajectories.
Spanish boss Benitez was previously odds-on at 8/15 only a few weeks ago but has drifted markedly in the betting market.
Celtic next manager odds – Betfair
- Steve Clarke – 11/10
- Rafa Benitez – 11/10
- Enzo Maresca – 5/1
- John Kennedy – 6/1
- Frank Lampard – 7/1
- Eddie Howe – 15/2
- Roberto Martinez – 10/1
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The 60-year-old is a free agent having left his role at Chinese side Dalian Professional and has returned to the Wirral with his family.
Clarke, meanwhile, has surged in from a double-figure 12/1 over the last few weeks.
The Scotland head coach, who guided his country to Euro 2020 qualification, impressed in his last domestic job with Kilmarnock – boasting a 50.6% win percentage.
A new contender for the role has emerged over the last 48 hours with former Italy international Enzo Maresca now in contention.
Maresca was appointed as coach of the Manchester City elite development squad in August but is available at 5/1 to take charge at Celtic.
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Further back at 6/1 is assistant manager John Kennedy.
The 37-year-old has worked his way up the coaching ladder with Celtic and is a popular figure with the players.
He started as a first-team scout in 2010 before eventually climbing to Lennon's No.2 after the departure of Brendan Rodgers in early 2019.
Recently axed Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is being touted for a new role in management and is available at 7/1.
He's narrowly ahead of former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and Roberto Martinez, who are priced at 15/2 and 10/1 respectively.
Lennon apologised to Celtic's supporters shortly after their second defeat to Ross County in three months.
He told Sportsound: "I apologise. It wasn't for the want of trying.
"The players were putting in the effort, but it wasn't good enough."
However, he showed no signs of walking away from the challenge, and maintained his stance on wanting to stay and rebuild.
He added: "So far I've not been told anything otherwise.
"I love this job, I love the club. This has been a difficult season but you always want to rebuild and go again."
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