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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Will Lennon leave?

Jamie Redknapp thinks Neil Lennon could be on the radar of a host of clubs after his exploits with Celtic in the Champions League.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 09:40 Post Comment

The Bhoys slipped out of Europe at the last-16 stage on Wednesday evening when they were downed 2-0 by Juventus in Turin, losing 5-0 on aggregate after a hefty defeat at home in the first leg.

Read our match report here

But the Glasgow outfit created headlines earlier in the competition when they conquered Spanish heavyweights Barcelona in a group game at Celtic Park and progressed from a pool that also contained Portuguese outfit Benfica and Russian Club Spartak Moscow.

Sky Sports pundit Redknapp reckons Lennon could now be lured away from Scotland, but expects the 41-year-old to continue his managerial education with Hoops for a little while longer.

"It is important Celtic to keep players like Victor Wanyama and James Forrest at the club, but it is important that they keep Lennon, too," stated Redknapp, after fellow analyst Ray Wilkins said that he expects the Bhoys boss to head for pastures new

"There will be a lot of clubs coveting him after the job he has done and the way he has developed; he has shown what an astute tactician he is, has a good scouting system and has an aggressive side that makes him tick.

"He has done a lot at a young age as well and the experiences of playing against, and getting his team scoring against, Barcelona will stand him in good stead.

"But he might look at [Aston Villa manager] Paul Lambert and think: 'It might be better to sit back and not rush into anything in the Premier League'.

"Lennon also might think that Celtic is still the right job for him because it is a massive football club who are playing in the Champions League. I think he will stay there for another year or so and keep on progressing."

Magic

Former Celtic midfielder John Collins, meanwhile, reckons the Scottish side were unfortunate to lose to Juventus by such a heavy margin over the course of the two games, but did admit that the reigning Serie A champions produced that extra bit of class when it mattered.

"It was an unjust score-line over the two legs, but Celtic never made the most of their chances," said Collins. "The final shot or pass wasn't good enough and they didn't test the goalkeeper enough.

"At no time in the two games were Celtic pummelled by Juventus or pinned in, but the Italians had that extra little bit of magic around the box."

Wilkins added: "It was difficult for Juventus tonight (Wednesday) as they felt they had won the tie in Glasgow and didn't play well. However, they did show quality.

"Andrea Pirlo, who can pick out anybody out if you give him time on the ball, passed the ball well, Arturo Vidal was the outstanding midfield player on the pitch, and you got the feeling that had Juventus shipped the first goal they would have come back strong."

Paris Saint-Germain ousted La Liga troop Valencia in Wednesday's other last-16 encounter and Redknapp feels Carlo Ancelotti's expensively-assembled squad can contend for the Champions League trophy.

"PSG have Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front - he is an enigma and you don't know what he is going to do, but he has so much class in his game - while defensively I think Thiago Silva is one of the best centre-backs in world football," said the Liverpool alumnus.

"However, this is the first time in a while that they have dipped their toe into the Champions League and this is where the big teams come of age.

"They have a chance - but the German sides (Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund) are still favourite, in my opinion."

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