A GUARANTEE which can be made about Neil Lennon is he will be manager of a football club for the start of next season.

Whether that's Celtic Football Club is far from certain and don't think it's because those in charge, Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell, have reservations about the Northern Irishman, although there has been no contract offered. One hasn’t even been drawn up.

On the face of things, Lennon would have an easy decision to make should he be given the opportunity to become only the second man after Billy McNeill to manage Celtic on two separate occasions.

Should Lennon win today at Ibrox, or at least not lose, he'll end his interim stint without a single loss. His team will beat a Hearts side which looks increasingly desperate at flag day next Sunday and then in the Scottish Cup Final.

His final record would be the title by 12 points at least and a Treble Treble sealed and delivered. A safe pair of hands content to work for half the money Brendan Rodgers was on with two of the biggest seasons since 1888 ahead of him; Celtic would most certainly want to do business then.

But what if Lennon says no?

The 48-year-old is nobody’s fool and don’t for one moment think that he will say automatically yes to whatever Celtic put to him.

He will not want to go up against a stronger Rangers, more about that in a bit, and an improved top Premiership six without having his players, his signings in the dressing room for 24 months of pressure which not one of them would have experienced before.

These next two titles are the most important. If Lennon fails, then it’s his fault. That’s the game and he knows it, and this is where things become complicated.

Back in January, there was genuine fear inside Celtic Park that Rodgers’s team were in real danger of not making the eight. The football had been poor at times, too many weren’t good enough to play for Celtic, some of them among the highest paid earners at the club.

A figure put to me if you add up fees, wages, agent fees, the new pitch, wage increases and everything else Rodgers asked for since 2016 is close to £60millon. As Celtic relaxed in their Dubai five-star hotel in January, they had the same amount of points as Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.

Not good enough. No hearts were broken in that boardroom when Rodgers and his coaching staff left and £9million was put into the Celtic current account.

During the last transfer window, in came Jeremy Toljan, Oli Burke, Timo Weah on loan, plus Marvin Shved, sent back to his Ukrainian club where he has been playing well, and Vakoun Bayo who has yet to kick a ball. The first three will be pulling in between them best part of £50,000 a week. Weah has already been told to go by Lennon who hasn’t been impressed by the either two.

Marvin Compper and Cristian Gamboa are, I’ve been told, on £60,000 a week between them. A dud and the fourth choice right-back. There is only one fit senior striker at the club which is Odssone Edouard.

The Celtic board are a bit like the Scottish FA. They are an easy target when the aim should be elsewhere. Rodgers was backed, like no other Celtic manager in history, and the team is not as good as it was two seasons ago. It is, however, far more expensive to keep.

This is why Lennon isn’t a certainty to be at Celtic next season even if he is offered the job.

Look at who he’s been playing over the past month or so, the tried and tested, players such as Mikael Lustig who he had before. He’s also got a tune from Jozo Simunovic who was out of the picture under Rodgers.

Burke and Toljan won’t be asked back. Olivier Ntcham has gone backwards. No fringe player has shown enough. All that dead wood must be cut away and that costs money – which it comes down to.

For Lennon to get ten leagues in a row, and compete as much as he can in Europe, which might be something of an afterthought until May 2021, he will demand that squad be decimated and rebuilt.

He needs a right-back, two centre-halves, two midfielders, two strikers, depending on the Leigh Griffiths situation, and a left-sided winger. That’s a lot of money, albeit Lennon would likely bring back John Park to replace the Lee Congerton, a failed as head of recruitment, which increases the likelihood of some gems being unearthed.

Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk face each other in this month’s Champions League. Both were signed when Lennon and Park were at Celtic Park.

Those who dismiss a Rangers challenge next season have not been paying attention. They shouldn’t get close to Celtic but when has logic come into football. Stranger things have happened. Why give them even a sniff of a chance.

Lennon does not want to be manager with ten-in-a-row, if not within touching distance then almost in sight, with a squad he doesn’t trust. If he is not backed then it might be the Celtic legend who walks away from the talks.

Were that to happen, don’t be surprised if Steve Clarke or even Gordon Strachan were approached. Would the board take a gamble and risk losing the record of ten? Not a chance.

For me, it should be Lennon. He is not without his faults but supporters who claim the football has not been great since late February have forgotten what it was like before.

Just 24 hours before Rodgers spoke to Leicester Celtic were awful at home to Motherwell, only finding some fire once Motherwell scored a goal after the ball had been thrown out for a foul.

Defeats at Tynecastle, Rugby Park and Ibrox, plus that awful night in Athens, all somehow forgotten.

Lennon has had to rely on Edouard because there is nobody else to play as the lone striker, and this is a manager who likes playing with two up-front.

There are Championship English clubs closely all of this. Lennon will come away with a treble, his stock is high, so at least one chairman down south is going to be willing to give him whatever he wants.

I’ll end with a story from the recent Celtic player of the year dinner. Many former players were there. As the current first-team were introduced, one of them couldn’t put a name to half a dozen of them.