Dominic McKay will leave Scottish Rugby Union to take over as Celtic chief executive on April 19, it has been confirmed.

The SRU issued a statement confirming the news that McKay will leave his post early. 

It had been planned that McKay, replacing Peter Lawwell, would do so in the summer at the end of the current season. However, with such a big overhaul planned for the club, the new CEO will join up early to get a head-start on issues at Parkhead.

A statement read: "Further to the announcement issued on 29th January, Scottish Rugby can confirm Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Guinness Pro14 Dom McKay will be leaving the organisation on Friday 16 April following a successful handover of his duties and responsibilities.  

"Dom leaves to join Celtic F.C with everyone at Scottish Rugby’s best wishes for this new exciting chapter in his career."

It comes as McKay and major shareholder Dermot Desmond are believed to have met with managerial candidate Eddie Howe in private discussions. The former Bournemouth boss is in line to replace Neil Lennon and McKay, who had not officially began the job at the time, is reported to have met with the Englishman.

We told yesterday how it was expected McKay would depart early and join up with Celts, perhaps this month, but it will be next month, April, when he takes over.

Celtic also provided their own statement, revealing McKay would work alongside Mr Lawwell to ensure a smooth transition. It said: "Peter Lawwell continues in his role as Chief Executive Officer and board member until June 30. Dom will join the Club from April 19, working with Peter and the Executive team to ensure a smooth transition, until Dom takes on the role of Chief Executive Officer and board member on July 1."