CELTIC legend Charlie Nicholas last night insisted landing Brendan Rodgers as the next manager would be the club's best move for years.

The former Liverpool boss held a second round of talks on Tuesday afternoon with the Celtic hierarchy and has leapfrogged to the front of the queue of candidates to replace Ronnie Deila.

And if Celtic’s main shareholder Dermont Desmond and Peter Lawwell, the chief executive, can meet Rodgers’s terms regarding wages and transfer budget then he could be appointed as early as next week.

Nicholas has been a vocal critic of Celtic in recent years but was heartened by the news that his preferred choice was in talks and hoped the Northern Irishman would bring exiting football back to the east end of Glasgow.

He said: “In the past, I wouldn’t have flagged him (Rodgers) up because I’m not convinced the board or the owner would go after that pedigree in terms of salary and things.

“But if he does and realises that needs-must now to kick Celtic back further forward. That would be nice.

“It would be the first really encouraging sign that I had heard from the club coming out at that level for some time. Brendan’s is a style of play I have always liked.

"I got ridiculed two or three years ago when I suggested Gerard Houllier. I’ve always looked at Guus Hiddink and people like that.

‘I think Celtic for a long-time needed a project as the managers like to call it which was ingrained to bring in coaches to the system, a bit like Liverpool’s boot-room system.

“I always found that the fabric of this club could be built on what again. But it has to have a style.”

Rodgers has no direct link to Celtic unlike Roy Keane, Paul Lambert, Neil Lennon, Malky Mackay and David Moyes.

However, Nicholas does not believe that matters any more. The only important thing is Celtic get the right man.

He said: “It doesn’t need a guy with a Tri-Colour or a Celtic banner wrapped around his forehead or a scarf to identify the Celtic style. Everyone knows what the Celtic style is.

“But to embrace someone who is quite natural in wanting to play that way is intriguing for me.

“I openly said I would support Roy Keane totally because he would shake the club and ruffle it up a bit; he would demand standards be met.

“But for style of play, if Celtic are serious and want to go down that route of Rodgers, I’d be very encouraged by that. Very encouraged indeed.

“Brendan was a bit fortunate in that the standard of player when he went to Liverpool was high and so was the standard of the Academy.

"The standard of buying was also high, but he embraced it and took in on and it’s a style of play which I have admired.”

One thing Rodgers would do was to play with more than one striker, which was something Deila refused to do.

Nicholas said: “I think Brendan would play more than up-front on European nights here. It’s a style which non-Celtic people would be interested to see.

“Can he come? Will he play this way? It’s not gambling football, it’s entertaining football.

“It might work and might not, but it’s the principle. The majority of the Celtic supporters that I speak with, Brendan seems to be edging towards the No.1

“If they can get him and they are prepared to give him his head, it could become very exciting. With Rangers coming back into the league, maybe they are forced it into it a little.

“But if they can nail that down, it would be quite exciting.”