Roy Keane talks managerial ambitions, what he wants from an opportunity

Roy Keane has stated that he would still be interested in becoming a manager again – provided it is the right opportunity.

The Irishman hasn’t been involved in management since 2011, when he departed Ipswich Town. He has, however, been involved as an assistant manager at several clubs, as well as with Republic of Ireland.

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Now a Sky Sports pundit, he still has an ambition to go back into management.

Roy Keane: The manager

Keane secured his first managerial role with Sunderland in 2006. The Black Cats were in the Championship, following relegation from the Premier League the season prior. Ex-Manchester City striker Niall Quinn had recently been part of a consortium that had taken over the club.

However, before the season started, the club had failed to appoint a new permanent manager to replace Mick McCarthy. Quinn, who had no previous managerial experience, was in charge.

The 2006/07 season started badly, with Sunderland losing each of their first four games. Quinn then called Keane to take over, with the former Manchester United captain signing a three-year contract.

Despite taking over with the club in 23rd position, Keane guided the Black Cats to the Championship title. They embarked on a 17-game unbeaten run between January and April, winning the league by two points ahead of Birmingham City.

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In their first season back in the Premier League, the Irishman helped the club stay up, with Sunderland in 15th place. The following season, Keane decided to resign from his position in December 2008, following talks with the board.

He then spent nearly two years with Championship club Ipswich Town. He was sacked by the club in January 2011, after the side lost seven of their previous nine games.

Does Roy Keane want to return to management?

Last season, it was reported that Roy Keane was in talks with Sunderland to re-join the club as manager. However, he turned down the club’s offer, as reported by The Guardian. The Black Cats appointed former Norwich City and Preston North End boss Alex Neil, who guided them to promotion via the League One play-offs.

Keane also reportedly had talks with Celtic during the summer of 2021 to replace Neil Lennon. He also had talks with the club back in 2014, but turned them down. On the most recent occasion, Celtic eventually appointed Ange Postecoglou.

In addition, he told Gary Neville on The Overlap that he held discussions with an unnamed Championship club last year.

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Speaking to Sporf at a Sky Sports media day on Thursday, Keane expressed an interest in returning to management. Despite this, he said it has to be the right opportunity for him.

He explained: “I spoke to a couple of clubs again in the last few months. I’m a bit wary of shutting any doors on myself by saying, ‘Oh, I won’t go back into it’. Obviously, the chances are getting less and less as the months go by.

“I’d still like an opportunity. When I say the right opportunity – it has to be the right opportunity.

“I think every negotiation is different. I wouldn’t be setting a stone down and going, ‘It’s got to be a three-year deal, or it’s got to be in a certain area’. No. I think you have to speak to clubs, and get that vibe, and see what they’ve got to say to you. Of course [I’d consider going abroad]. Absolutely.”

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