Emile Heskey has revealed that he turned down an audacious bid from Neil Lennon to play for Hibs this season.

The 38-year-old striker is out of contract after a spell working with Lennon at Bolton, but he has no plans to join up with his former Leicester team-mate in Leith.

"I took a call actually [from Hibs] but I am now happy to do coaching rather than playing now,” he said.

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"There was interest but for me it is the coaching side that interests me.”

Heskey could have played for Celtic with both Martin O’Neill and Lennon credited with a move to take the forward to the club.Evening Times: Celtic captain Scott Brown was joined by former Leicester City and England star Emile Heskey at Parkhead yesterday to promote the International Champions Cup match between the two clubs next month.

"I had chances to sign for Celtic but I chose to stay down south with my family,” he said. “The first time was when Martin O'Neill was here and even the gaffer (Neil Lennon) tried to bring me here.

"I took the phone call but I was quite happy being down south and being with my family.

"I don't have too many regrets in my football career because I am generally happy with what I have done but it would have been nice to play here.”

And Heskey believes it is the atmosphere at Celtic Park that can work in the club’s favour as they seek to make their mark in Europe again this season.

"The atmosphere at Parkhead is probably the best I have experienced,” he said. “When they sing You'll Never Walk Alone and the roar you get from the crowd.Evening Times: STARTING ROLE: Emile Heskey

"I can understand why Celtic win so many games at home because they will feed off the energy.”

Heskey was part of the Liverpool side whom Celtic beat on their way to the Uefa Cup Final in 2003 and he insisted that it is conceivable – if difficult – that an SPFL side could knock a Premiership side out of a European competition again.

"The players coming in now in England are superstars and they are spending £30m at the drop of a hat,” he said.

"Scotland doesn't have that but you have so much passion here and a will so I don't think the gap is massive.

"The gap in money might be big but in terms of football I don't think it is big at all.”