Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou says he was “really close” to being appointed AEK Athens manager last summer before he took up the post at Parkhead.
The Greek Super League side decided against hiring Postecoglou, in favour of a different candidate, but within 24 hours, he was in contact with Peter Lawwell about taking on the challenge at the Hoops:
“AEK was a possibility, almost at the same time as Celtic. It was a sliding doors moment. At that time of year, clubs are looking for managers and we got really close. They went another way and literally a day after that I got a call from Peter Lawwell. I then had a chat with Dermot Desmond and it was done within 24 hours.”
Celtic supporters will be forever grateful that AEK Athens opted against appointing Postecoglou. After being messed around by Eddie Howe, the Scottish side were scrambling around to find an alternative but they somehow managed to make the perfect appointment.
It’s hard to overstate how difficult the situation was for a manager coming into the club last year. A huge squad rebuild was required, with many players looking to leave, while new signings needed to bed in.
Not only did Postecoglou get his team winning games very quickly, he got them playing a style of football that was easy on the eye. With nearly all of his summer additions working out as well, it has been a dream first season under the management of the Australian.