Outspoken Charlie Nicholas reckons Gordon Strachan's passionate defence of Celtic 's performances could be part of a pitch to become the club's new director of football.

Strachan was in the TV gantry for Premier Sports on Sunday as he watched Rangers comfortably dispatch the Hoops to go through to the next round of the Scottish Cup.

The former Scotland boss caused tension amongst the pundits, including former player John Hartson, when he launched a strong defence of the Hoops players despite their defeat.

Celtic are looking to build a new structure to take them forward under new chief executive Dominic McKay and a director of football is being sought. Manchester City loan manager Fergal Harkin is amongst the most prominent names being linked.

But Nicholas feels that Strachan may be eyeing a permanent return to Paradise - and it would be a move the former Arsenal strike star isn't keen on.

He told The Express: "The way Gordon Strachan has been talking, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a role for him at Celtic.

Gordon Strachan defends Celtic
Gordon Strachan defends Celtic

"If the club is assessing potential candidates for a technical director or director of football then the likelihood is that he will be under consideration.

"Strachan seems to be the mouthpiece for Celtic just now.

"He is the one who is coming out in the media and really defending the club.

"He also seems to know a lot about what is happening behind the scenes and claimed with a fair degree of certainty that his son Gavin will remain at the club.

"Director of football at Parkhead is clearly a job Gordon would be interested in, even if he is doing a similar role at Dundee at the moment.

"Bringing Strachan back to the club he managed from 2005 to 2009 would also work for majority shareholder Dermot Desmond because he could be the frontman for him.

"If Strachan is to become director of football then Celtic should come out and announce it - before a new manager is put in place.

"But would it be the right appointment?

"Not for me, because I want modern, fresh appointments that the club can really build on.

"In the wake of the European Super League development, the Champions League could be ripped apart.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 18: Premier Sports' team watch on during a Scottish Cup tie between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium, on April 18, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

"Celtic need to put a structure and a philosophy in place in which everything is aimed at competing at the top level in Europe."

While Nicholas frets about who will be appointed as director of football, he is less concerned over the time it's taking to secure a manager or head coach.

Eddie Howe is the club's top target but Nicholas feels that would stall should his Strachan prediction come to fruition.

He said: "I don't feel the stress or strain of Celtic taking their time to appoint the right manager.

"Maybe Eddie Howe is still undecided or hasn't got everything he has asked for yet.

"Or maybe it is simply that he doesn't want to come in until the end of the season.

"What I would say is that I am not sure Howe would take the job if Strachan is director of football.

"And if that is the case then Celtic might need to look further down their list.

"Roy Keane is probably third or fourth choice. If he is to be offered the job he will need others to knock it back. But that call might yet come."