ALAN STUBBS has urged Celtic to appoint their new manager as soon as possible, with the club facing what could potentially be their biggest ever rebuilding job this summer.

The former Celtic defender is concerned that the prolonged courtship of Eddie Howe to succeed Neil Lennon is still ongoing, with so much work to be done to reinvigorate the playing squad.

With Scott Brown already leaving and a host of players such as Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie being linked with moves away too, Stubbs says that his old club need to get a new manager in the door as a matter of urgency. Particularly with the lucrative Champions League qualifiers now looming on the horizon.

“Whoever is coming in, I can’t stress enough that they need to be in as soon as possible, because it’s going to be very difficult to build a championship winning team in six weeks’ time,” Stubbs said.

“To get all these players in is going to be so difficult, as well as trying to do well in Europe.

“I’ve spoken about Celtic this season, and they look short on so many fronts. There’s such a huge job ahead, I think it could potentially be Celtic’s biggest rebuild that they’ve ever seen this summer.

“I think it’s that big, because of the amount of loan players that would be going back, and because of the amount of players that will be looking to leave.

“Just off the top of my head, there’s a good chance Edouard won’t be there, there’s a good chance Ajer won’t be there, there’s been rumours around Christie being sold.

“Then you have all those loan players going back, Elyounoussi, who I think has been one of the better ones, and then you had the recruitment of certain players.

“You had (Albian) Ajeti, (Patryk) Klimala who has obviously gone. The recruitment has been so far off it, with David Turnbull being the exception. He’s been really good, he’s been one of the bright sparks this year.

“There’s so many question marks. I wouldn’t be surprised if Celtic are in a position where they’ve got to recruit a whole new back four plus a keeper.

“You might have Mikey Johnston and James Forrest back, which will be a huge help, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s offers for Callum McGregor.

“Scott Brown is going, and the impact of that not just off the pitch, but on the pitch too, is going to leave a huge void to fill.”

Stubbs knows of what he speaks, having been one of the few survivors of the Celtic cull of ’97, when Wim Jansen cleared the decks and brought in 10 new players as the club went on to stop Rangers making it 10 in-a-row.

For all that it was the likes of Henrik Larsson who added that bit of stardust, Stubbs thinks that one essential ingredient of Jansen’s squad which Celtic currently lack, and which Rangers have right through their core, is of major significance.

“Even looking back to then, I think the mentality of players has changed now,” he said.

“I don’t want to say that we were better than what they are now, but society has changed.

“The one thing we had when stopped 10 in-a-row was a really strong dressing room. There was quite a British core to it, and when you look across at what Steven (Gerrard) has done at Rangers, the predominant core of that group is British.

“They understand what was in front of them and what was needed, whereas with the foreign players - though they might give you that little bit of extra quality - they can sometimes lack in terms of that feeling of the club and being part of that.

“I look at the two teams now, and at Rangers there is a real togetherness, and everybody knows what is expected of them in terms of their jobs.

“I look at Celtic and I see an individualism with them, and not a collective team.”

In Stubbs' estimation, another contributory factor to the fragmented nature of the Celtic squad is the number of loan players currently at the club, with Shane Duffy, Jonjoe Kenny, Diego Laxalt and Moi Elyounoussi all set to return to their parent clubs this summer.

While fans would no doubt like to see Elyounoussi stick around at least, Stubbs has warned against another raft of loan arrivals this time around.

“You’ve got to be careful that you don’t bring in players that use the club as a springboard, and they buy into what you want to do,” he said. “That is huge.

“When you have so many loan signings, it’s very difficult for them to really get a feel for the club, because whether it’s for six months or a season, it doesn’t bring stability for me.

“It’s very easy when things are not going well for people to say ‘You know what, I can go back to my parent club.’ But when you’ve got a player there who’s there for a number of years, you have to buy into what is needed.

“I really don’t feel as if the foreign players - and I don’t want to put all the blame on them as that’s not right - but in terms of understanding the enormity of what was at stake this season, if they did get it then it didn’t come across that they got it.”

*Alan Stubbs was promoting exclusively live Premier Sports coverage of the Scottish Cup. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player. Prices start from £10.99 per month.