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Update given on Harry Kewell’s Dens Park absence

Harry Kewell’s departure from Celtic looks cut and dried after the first team coach missed Tuesday’s 3-0 win away to Dundee.

The former Australian internationalist has been heavily linked with a return to management at Yokohama F Marinos where Kevin Muscat recently stepped down.

Marinos were previously managed by Ange Postecoglou with the appointment of Kewell continuing their Australian theme and offering a return to the front line for the former Oldham and Barnet boss.

In the summer of 2022 Postecoglou brought Kewell in from the cold to become first team coach at Celtic with Stephen McManus taking a sideways move to join Darren O’Dea in charge of the Celtic B side.

Explaining Kewell’s absence from Dens Park the Daily Record reports:

Celtic coach Harry Kewell has been given time off to finalise his switch to Yokohama F. Marinos.

The Australian wasn’t on the Hoops bench as Brendan Rodgers’ side beat Dundee on Boxing Day. Instead, Kewell has been given a leave of absence to sort out his potential move to Japan and also to spend some time with his family over the festive period.

The former Leeds and Liverpool star remains in talks with the J-League side over a return to frontline management.

A deal is at an advanced stage but Kewell has still to finalise his backroom before he formally agrees to any deal. Yokohama want Kewell to replace his former Australian teammate Kevin Muscat, who recommended him for the job.

The Japanese side have had a strong tradition of Australian managers as Ange Postecoglou had a spell there before he went to Celtic.

Kewell seems to have struck up a real rapport with Celtic wingers with Daizen Maeda and Luis Palma both mentioning the influence that he has had on their game.

Glen Driscoll arrived with Brendan Rodgers in the summer but his long term assistant Chris Davies broke that partnership when he joined Postecoglou at Spurs.

Kewell’s departure has been discussed for at least a month which gives Rodgers time to assess the candidates that can come in to work alongside himself, John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan.

With contacts north and south of the border the former Leicester boss should have a few options in mind while the cry from many Celtic fans is to bring in Scott Brown.

Seeing an iconic player back in the dug out is always a comforting feeling but Brown the coach and player/captain are two very different characters.

In December 2018 Damien Duff was brought in as a reserve coach and seemed both popular and effective working with Neil Lennon after Rodgers left for Leicester.

After just over a year as first team coach Duff returned to Dublin for family reasons.

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