Petrov calls for Celtic to hire Larsson


Stiliyan Petrov wants his former Celtic team-mate Henrik Larsson to be appointed as Ronny Deila's successor.

Deila will leave his role as manager at the end of the season after two mixed campaigns in charge of the Bhoys. 

The Norwegian delivered the Scottish Premiership title in 2014-15 and is on track to do so again this term, but he failed to secure qualification for the group stage of the Champions League in both seasons.

News of Deila's impending departure has prompted frenzied speculation over the identity of the new manager, with David Moyes and Roy Keane among those rumoured to be in contention.

But Petrov wants to see fan favourite Larsson, who claimed to have rejected the opportunity to take over from Neil Lennon prior to Deila's appointment in 2014, installed in the hot seat.

"I hope Henrik is the man," he said. "I would love to see him in charge of Celtic.

"I really hope he is offered the job and that this time he takes it. I think everyone would feel that way too. I think he is ready for the job this time." 

Petrov believes former Manchester United and Barcelona player Larsson, a hugely popular figure among Celtic supporters, has the clout required to improve the team's Champions League fortunes.

"I think the fans would love having someone like Henrik, with all of his experience at Celtic and across big games in European football," he said of the 44-year-old, who has managed Landskrona, Falkenbergs and now Helsingborgs in his native Sweden.

"He's got great contacts and he's got a winning mentality. 

"The stadium has been empty and he would definitely fill it up again. There would be no empty Celtic Parks with Henrik Larsson back there, that's for sure."

Deila meanwhile, addressing the media for the first time since announcing his departure, denied suggestions he did not have full control of the club's transfer policy 

"I sign the players. I have the final decision. It has been like that all the time, no problem," he said.

The outgoing manager, who oversaw a penalty shootout defeat to arch-rivals Rangers in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday, also acknowledged his performance has fallen short of expectations.

"You can say that I haven't made a mess of it, but I think I could have done a better job, as well."