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By ESPN Staff

Burnley boss Coyle scotches Celtic rumours

Burnley manager Owen Coyle tonight denied reports that he is on the verge of joining Celtic as replacement for Gordon Strachan.

Coyle guided the Clarets to the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 Coca-Cola Championship play-off final victory over Sheffield United at Wembley on Monday, the day Strachan stepped down.

A boyhood Celtic fan, Coyle had been reported to be on the verge of replacing Strachan following the Parkhead club's loss of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title to Glasgow rivals Rangers.

However, Coyle has distanced himself from a switch to Celtic in the short term.

He told the club website, "There has been no approach to Burnley Football Club. It is people simply putting two and two together and making five. I am going on holiday with my family this weekend and I can assure you I will be doing so as Burnley manager.''

Burnley had earlier confirmed there had been no approach for the former St Johnstone manager who had been instantly installed as one of the favourites to succeed Strachan.

Coyle today held talks with the Burnley board over an improved contract in a meeting arranged before the Celtic vacancy arose.

"Contrary to widespread speculation, Burnley Football Club has not received any official approach from Celtic for the services of manager Owen Coyle,'' a club statement read.

"Nor will the club welcome any approaches for Coyle, who remains under contract at Turf Moor.''

Former Republic of Ireland international Coyle has previously spoken of his regret at missing out on playing for Celtic during a career which took in the likes of Airdrie, Bolton, Motherwell and Dundee United.

Coyle's work has not gone unnoticed among the Celtic squad as defender Gary Caldwell's brother, Steven, is an integral part of the Clarets team.

Celtic striker Scott McDonald said: "He's done a fantastic job. We've kept a close eye on Burnley this year as well because Gaz Caldwell's brother plays for them, so we've been hearing about Burnley for the last 12 months.

"We've seen a lot of them on TV and they've played some great stuff at times. It's not for me to comment on who's going to be the next manager - it's not my decision.

"I'll just be happy to pull on the Hoops again next year and work as hard as I can for whoever that is.''

Former Celtic skipper Billy McNeil, who had two spells in charge of the club, believes Coyle's background as a supporter would help his cause.

"I think it helps,'' said the Lisbon Lion. "The very fact that the fans anticipate that and would want that indicates that it would make the job easier.''


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