ANGE POSTECOGLOU is already a firm favourite with the Celtic support.

But according to ex-Sunderland striker Michael Bridges the manager could be overseeing the Black Cats in the Premier League right now.

Bridges made the bold claim as he revealed Postecoglou was interested in a move to Sunderland in 2017 but was unsuccessful.

The Celtic boss was pipped by Chris Coleman for the job after ex-Rangers CEO Martin Bain feared a fan revolt if a major name wasn't appointed.

Bain decided the better option was to appoint Coleman, who lasted just 29 matches, despite Bridges offering an overwhelmingly positive reference for Postecoglou.

Speaking to the Scottish Sun, Bridges explained: “To think, Ange may never have ended up at Celtic had Martin listened to me.

“It’s ironic that the decision of an ex-Rangers man played its part in his career path going in a different direction.

“Martin told me Ange’s CV was in front of him and he wanted to know what he was all about. I said he was a serial winner and if he wanted someone to come in, clear the existing culture, get rid of some players and help them on and off the field, then Ange was their man.

“To this day I remember Martin’s response. He said, ‘But Michael, we’ve never heard of this guy, the fans will go ballistic’. I replied, ‘Do you want a name or do you want something different?’

“I couldn’t have given Ange a better reference. I can’t praise this guy highly enough. But Martin went for the name.

“To be fair, Chris was a high-profile appointment and the Sunderland fans were delighted, but anyone who watched the Netflix documentary saw what happened next.

“Had Martin listened, I’m convinced Sunderland would be back in the Premier League — and probably with Ange still in charge.”