NEIL Lennon has been keen for Celtic to enjoy their eighth consecutive Scottish title triumph in recent days and loathe to discuss their bid for a record-equalling ninth next season. Quite right too. It is, as Sir Alex Ferguson always stressed, important to enjoy the victories.

Yet, be assured that plans for the 2019/20 campaign are already well underway at Parkhead. A major overhaul is required in the summer, as the defeat to Rangers at Ibrox yesterday underlined, if the Glasgow club are to continue their domestic dominance and make any inroads in Europe.

Much work needs to be done. Dead wood has to be offloaded, numbers reduced and, most importantly, new acquisitions brought on board.

Lennon has, despite not knowing if he will remain in charge beyond the William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hearts at Hampden on Saturday week, been heavily involved in the whole process. Last month, for example, he let slip he had been over in Paris watching a potential signing target in action.

He was bullish about the planning which is being done behind the scenes when he was asked about the prospect of their city rivals, who have started their rebuilding work early by tying up both Steven Davis and Jake Hastie on permanent deals, being better next term and therefore able to launch a more serious challenge for silverware. “I can’t comment on Rangers being stronger or not,” he said. “But we will be. I guarantee you that.”

Whether Lee Congerton, inset, who Leicester City announced had joined the King Power Stadium club as their new head of senior recruitment on Saturday, has been involved in that ongoing process in recent weeks and months is a moot point.

Speculation has abounded that he would join Brendan Rodgers at the King Power Stadium since the former Swansea City and Liverpool manager departed in March. Those rumours were finally confirmed at the weekend.

The Welshman’s work with the Scottish champions since he replaced John Park, an individual who was responsible for unearthing some rough diamonds who provided years of fine service before being sold for vast profits, two years ago has never been wholly convincing.

It is unfair to suggest that he has been a failure. After all, both Scott Bain and Odsonne Edouard, admittedly for a club record £9 million fee, have been brought in on his watch. The goalkeeper and striker are automatic first team selections on match days.

Filip Benkovic, who arrived on a season-long loan from, ironically enough, Leicester, last year, also impressed before he suffered a serious knee injury. Jonny Hayes, too, has more than justified the nominal outlay which it took to bring him on board.

Olivier Ntcham, another of his finds, has endured a wretched season with both injury and loss of form. But the French midfielder is a decent player and has enjoyed some outstanding games both at home and abroad. He netted, for example, the winning and only goal in the first Old Firm game of the season back in September.

The jury, meanwhile, is out on Daniel Arzani, Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Lewis Morgan, Armstrong Oko-Flex and Maryan Shved.

There have, however, been some pretty spectacular failures. Not least Marvin Compper, the German international who was supposed to be the classy ball-playing centre half who would enable Celtic to progress on the continent, who has been an expensive and embarrassing flop. Charly Musonda, Kundai Benyu, Jack Hendry and Youssouf Mulumbu have contributed little if anything.

Rodgers’ expectations – he grew frustrated at the unwillingness of his paymasters to loosen the purse strings and bring in the calibre of player he felt that he needed to in order build on the success he had been responsible for in his first two seasons – may well have complicated Congerton’s efforts.

The fact that relations between manager and management were not what they could have been must have been problematic. The Northern Irishman, for instance, publicly admitted he knew little about both Arzani and Shved before they were signed. Such pronouncements hardly suggested everyone was working together amicably for the betterment of the club.

Park oversaw the arrival of both Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama, who are set to line up on opposing sides when Spurs face Liverpool in the Champions League final in Madrid next month, during his time at Celtic. Will he, as has been widely suggested, return? It would buoy many supporters if he did.

The Scot had a few misses in amongst all the hits. Amido Balde, Mo Bangura and Derk Boerigtter were all, to put it bluntly, shocking. But the business model allowed for such failures.

Whoever comes in, whether it is Park or a new man, must be more in tune with the financial model, cognizant about who the Parkhead club can afford and better connected in the markets which the Scottish champions can operate if Celtic are to continue to flourish both on and off the park going forward.

The sale of Moussa Dembele, Fraser Forster, Gary Hooper, Ki Sung-yueng, Van Dijk, Wanyama and others have enabled Celtic to break even while winning trophies and savouring success, of sorts at least, in Europe.

What current players, outside of the home-grown James Forrest, Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney, can Celtic cash in on in future? Edouard, in time, Ntcham, if he gets his mojo back, and Rogic may command hefty fees.

It is important that more foreign imports come good in the seasons to come if they are to prosper in an increasingly difficult environment.