Celtic have left the door ajar for Brendan Rodgers to consider making a switch to Arsenal - should the north London club decide to make an approach - after the club's major shareholder Dermot Desmond admitted the Scottish side would not stand in his way.
The former Liverpool manager has been installed as one of the favourites by the bookmakers to replace Arsene Wenger, after the Arsenal boss announced his decision to step down from the role once the curtain closes on his 22 years at the club at season's end.
Rodgers has been a revelation as Celtic boss since replacing Ronny Deila in 2016 and whilst Desmond hopes the 45-year-old will stay with the club, he admitted he would allow Rodgers to hold discussions with the Gunners should he choose to do so.
"I'm glad he's the favourite," Desmond told Sky Sports, as quoted by the BBC. "He's an outstanding person. We wouldn't want him to leave but we won't force him to stay. Hopefully his love for the club and the set-up here will induce him to stay.
Brendan Rodgers and Arsenal. For: would be (relatively) easy to get, has existing footprint from big club in England. Against: European record, sniffyness towards any success Scotland.— Ewan Murray (@mrewanmurray) April 20, 2018
"I don't think you can put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club as good as Arsenal. It will be Brendan's decision and his decision only."
Rodgers led Celtic to a Treble in his first season at the helm after finishing the domestic campaign unbeaten and claiming the Premiership, League Cup and Scottish Cup along the way.
A historic feat which could be followed up by yet another Treble winning season which would see Celtic become the first club in the history of the Scottish game to secure back-to-back Trebles.
The man himself has admitted to being unsure as to when his time at Celtic will come to an end as he is simply enjoying leading the Scottish champions, he said, via The Scotsman: “It’s a bigger picture for me.
All depends what kind of manager Arsenal want. If emphasis is on youth, building, playing style, entertaining, reinvigorating the place -- not overnight, but long term -- then Rodgers should certainly be on their list. They could do a hell of a lot worse— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) April 20, 2018
“I’m living the dream here and one day it will finish. However that is and whenever that is, I don’t know. Then I’ll go back into the real world again.
“When you do well nowadays, everyone tries to push you on. There may be a point in my time here when I think I’ve done absolutely everything. That’s not now. There are still challenges for me here that can really test you to the limit."
Wenger's 22-years at Arsenal returned an impressive three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups and with a series of memorable moments at the helm, his successor - who the club say will be appointed as soon as possible - will have a lot to live up to.