Celtic pick Rodgers to take over from Deila

LONDON • Brendan Rodgers will be unveiled as Celtic's manager tomorrow afternoon, after the Scottish champions confirmed that the Northern Irishman would replace Ronny Deila on a 12-month rolling contract.

Dermot Desmond, Celtic's main shareholder, met the candidates - also including Neil Lennon and David Moyes - in London at the start of last week.

Rodgers, who has been out of work since being sacked by Liverpool in October, was initially thought to be eyeing a job abroad. Yet in what will be viewed as a coup for Celtic, he has accepted the challenge of trying to lead the club back into the group stages of the Champions League.

"I am absolutely delighted to be named Celtic manager," Rodgers said.

"This is genuinely a huge honour for me. I have followed Celtic all my life and to be given this fantastic opportunity and to be part of such a truly great football club is a dream come true.

"I will give my new role everything I have and do all I can to bring our supporters exciting, entertaining and winning football.

"I know what a magnificent support Celtic enjoys and I can promise our fans one thing - that I will be doing everything I can to give you a team that you can be proud of and a team that delivers."

In the English Premier League, Walter Mazzarri has signed a three-year deal to take over as Watford manager.

The former Napoli and Inter Milan manager held talks with the club's owner, Gino Pozzo, last week and agreed terms on a deal on Friday night.

The 54-year-old has not managed since leaving Inter in 2014 but has spent parts of the past two years in England, learning English.

He quickly emerged as the favourite to replace Quique Sanchez Flores with Pozzo having been an admirer for a long time. The Watford owner, who also owns Udinese, had been keen for Mazzarri to take over at the Italian club but the timing was never right.

Watford finished 13th in the Premier League this season, having been promoted under Slavisa Jokanovic in 2015, and reached the FA Cup semi-final.

However, their form was disappointing in the new year and Watford announced this month that Flores would leave at the end of the season.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 22, 2016, with the headline 'Celtic pick Rodgers to take over from Deila'. Print Edition | Subscribe