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Delighted Lennon set for talks on future


Celtic manager Neil Lennon Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Neil Lennon will have talks with Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell in the next few days about his future.

The Celtic boss has been linked with the vacancies at Everton and Stoke and is also in the thoughts of Leicester City, who are expected to part company with Nigel Pearson after failing to reach the final of the Championship play-off.

Lennon completed the domestic double with a 3-0 win over Hibs but it was in the Champions League that he earned his spurs, taking Celtic to the last 16 with a memorable 2-1 home win over Barcelona.

Since replacing Tony Mowbray three years ago, the former Northern Irish international has been operating on a rolling 12-month deal. Improved personal terms and a bigger transfer budget are top of Lennon's wish-list with powerbrokers Desmond and Lawwell big fans of their manager.

"Mr Desmond's here, Peter's here, maybe we'll have a wee chat later," Lennon (pictured) confirmed at Hampden. "It's always the same this time of the season. I just wanted to get through today and we've done that.

"You never tire of days like this. To win the double as a manager and as a player is pretty special. It's going to be hard to emulate that next season."

Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama are the most likely close season departures with both players impressing. Celtic could pick up five times the £3.8million they spent buying those players but expectations have risen on the back of successive titles and a thrilling Champions League run.

Meanwhile, Anthony Stokes is close to agreeing a new deal with the striker in fine form. He picked up the man of the match award yesterday after setting up Hooper for Celtic's first two goals.

Lennon admitted: "Hooper is a master and his partner in crime, Stokes, had probably his best game in a Celtic shirt. I had a gut feeling about him all week but didn't realise he was going to play as well as that.

"I'm delighted with those two, the clean sheet and Scott Brown was huge in midfield. He read the game brilliantly, broke up play, passed it well.

"The players should get the respect they deserve now because they've been fantastic.

"They've been at the sharp end all season – this is their 59th game – and they looked as fresh as daisies."