Celtic chiefs were locked in six-hour long talks last night with manager Martin O'Neill.
CEO Ian McLeod and contracts boss Jim Hone discussed a four-year extension with O'Neill as Leeds United's clubcall claimed the Ulsterman would be theirs within a week.
Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale is ready to swoop if O'Neill rejects Celtic's new contract offer.
However, the Daily Record says Celtic are confident they can keep O'Neill and almost persuaded him to put pen to paper on the deal last night.
O'Neill Could Yet Take Over Leeds Job
O'Neill has one more year on his Celtic contract (Allsport)
07/06/2002. Reports this morning suggest that Celtic boss Martin O'Neill could yet take over as Leeds United manager next week.
Although the genial Irishman stated yesterday that he wanted to see out the remaining year on his contract at Parkhead, it's reported that he has refused a longer deal with the SPL champions and that they could dispense with his services immediately, paving the way for him to join Leeds.
Celtic legend Billy McNeill felt that this could be the case as he said, "I defy you to tell me Martin's mind will be focused on Celtic if the prospect of being offered a job at Leeds is waiting for him. If that is the case the board should ask him to move now."
I'm Staying At Celtic Says Martin O'Neill
O'Neill says committed to Celtic (Allsport)
07/05/2002. Martin O'Neill will not be the new Leeds United manager after vowing to see out the remaining year of his contract at Celtic.
The Irishman was hotly tipped to take over from sacked boss David O'Leary, however speaking at an after-dinner occasion in Ireland today, he pledged the near future to his current club.
He said, "There has been no approach from Leeds and I want to see through the remaining year of my contract. I was shocked when I heard that David O'Leary had been sacked but these things happen in football. There are only a few managers in football who are unsackable, like Brian Clough, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson - and I am not one of them. I know that I can be sacked at any time, but if Celtic do not sack me I intend to see out my contract."