The former Bournemouth stalwart has been rumoured as the most likely successor to Neil Lennon for months, with reports suggesting that the deal could be wrapped up soon.
However, those plans are now in disarray, with Celtic confirming on Friday that Howe will not be taking the job after all.
“Following very positive and detailed discussions with Eddie Howe, with the belief that he would be an excellent candidate for the position of Celtic Manager, we allowed time for the process, given he’d previously made it clear he was not looking to return to management until this summer at the earliest,” the Scottish giants said in an official statement.
“We can now confirm that Eddie will not be joining the Club, for reasons outwith both his and Celtic’s control. We wish Eddie success for the future.
“As part of the ongoing process we have engaged with a number of candidates. We fully appreciate our fans will be seeking clarity on this matter and we aim, very shortly, to announce the appointment of a Manager with the quality and desire to take Celtic forward and bring further success to our supporters.”
Multiple reports suggest that Howe was unable to put together his desired backroom team, having wanted to take Bournemouth duo Stephen Purches and Simon Weatherstone plus Cherries technical director Richard Hughes to Parkhead.
Now it’s back to the drawing board for Celtic, who placed John Kennedy in interim charge following the departure of Lennon in February and endured a rare trophy-less season, finishing 25 points behind Old Firm rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premiership title race, exiting early from Europe and failing to reach either domestic cup final.
The latest Betfair odds have Ange Postecoglou as the favourite to take the job in Glasgow with Howe seemingly out of the running. The 55-year-old is currently in charge at Japanese outfit Yokohama F. Marinos and previously spent four years in charge of the Australian national team between 2013-17, leading the Socceroos at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and also to victory at the AFC Asian Cup in 2015.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke also features prominently on the list of possible contenders, in front of Kennedy and Enzo Maresca, who can be ruled out after recently leaving Manchester City’s coaching staff to take charge at Serie A side Parma. Ditto Jesse Marsch, who is succeeding the Bayern Munich-bound Julian Nagelsmann at RB Leipzig.
Also featuring is former Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice boss Lucien Favre, who has been out of work since being sacked by Borussia Dortmund in December.
Former Celtic midfielder Roy Keane is another familiar name in the odds list, joined by the likes of Stoke’s Michael O'Neill, former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder and even ex-Chelsea gaffer Frank Lampard.
Hibernian’s Jack Ross and St Johnstone’s cup double winner Callum Davidson are also there, as is former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca.
Next Celtic manager odds
Ange Postecoglou 6/5
Eddie Howe 5/1
Steve Clarke 5/1
John Kennedy 15/2
Enzo Maresca 15/2
Lucien Favre 9/1
Roy Keane 10/1
Michael O’Neill 10/1
Chris Wilder 12/1
Jesse Marsch 14/1
Frank Lampard 16/1
Jack Ross 16/1
Callum Davidson 16/1
Paulo Fonseca 16/1
Sean Dyche 20/1
Roberto Martinez 20/1