Roy Keane open to management comeback amid Republic of Ireland vacancy

Roy Keane has hinted that he is keen to make a return to football management, suggesting that an international job appeals to him most.

Keane most recently worked as an assistant manager at Nottingham Forest alongside Martin O’Neil, leaving that role in June 2019.

The former Manchester United captain also worked with O’Neil for the Republic of Ireland and was a key part of his coaching set-up for five years between 2013 and 2018.

The 52-year-old has not held a managerial post since his spell as Ipswich Town manager ended in 2011 but the Sky Sports pundit said he would not rule out a return to the dugout if the right job emerged.

“I think so,” he said on The Overlap’s Stick to Football. “Not that you’re going to get the Real Madrid job but it’s got to be the right challenge, the right club, and the right contract.”

“I’ve had opportunities, but sometimes you get offered a contract and you have to look at it with self-worth, is it the right deal for you? I’d like to go back in [to management], but I’m not desperate to sign any contract for anybody.”

Roy Keane was part of Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland coaching team (Getty Images)
Roy Keane was part of Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland coaching team (Getty Images)

Keane achieved promotion to the Premier League with Sunderland in his first managerial stint but failed to replicate his success at Ipswich and was ultimately sacked midway through his second full season in charge.

He revealed that an international managerial post would most interest him and even earmarked the Republic of Ireland vacancy as one that would interest him

“Yes, I enjoyed international football when I was a coach there,” Keane said. “I like the dynamics of it where you’re not in every day and it’s not about bringing players in and dealing with the board every week.

“That does appeal to me, I did enjoy the dynamics when I was coaching with the Irish team – that could be an option.”

Ireland are yet to appoint a successor to Stephen Kenny following his sacking in November. Kenny departed after a dismal Euro 2024 qualifying campaign which saw Ireland finish fourth in Group B with just six points.