Manchester United legend Roy Keane is ready to get back into club management and will sit down to discuss his future with Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill next week, according to the Guardian.
Assistant manager of his country's football team, Keane's role cast doubt in the minds of many upon his arrival due to his brutish attitude and inclination to take centre stage, but after helping his side to Euro qualification, the appointment has been heralded as a masterstroke.
As a result, the former Sunderland and Ipswich Town manager appears ready to test himself once again at club level.
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He said: “I’m planning to meet the manager just to have a chat, to see where he stands, but I think that Martin knows I have that ambition to get back in the ring.”
“Will this get me back in the window? I don’t know, but I’m loving my role with Ireland. It’s been everything I hoped it would be and I’ve been learning a lot from Martin.
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The change will have to wait until after Euro 2016, though, as Keane's role alongside O'Neill saw the Republic of Ireland qualify in heroic fashion. The boys in green snatched four points from world champions Germany, succumbed to a disappointing defeat against Scotland and then went on to defeat Bosnia in the dreaded play-offs.
Managing at club level has not been an easy ride for Keane, with dramatic ups and downs for the ex-United and Celtic player.
His time at Sunderland was chequered. When the former midfielder took over with the Black Cats 23rd in the Championship, Keane managed to guide the northern side to promotion in his first season at the helm, but left shortly into his second with the club in the relegation zone.
Enduring another bittersweet journey at club level, Keane took over at Ipswich where he won his first two games in charge at the tail end of the 2008/09 season before disappointing form in the following campaign led to a run of 14 games without a win and a poor league finish. Keane was sacked after 20 months in charge in 2011.
The Irishman has always been one to rise to his critics and take on challenges, especially with his country. Having faced so much scrutiny after his dispute with then manager Mick McCarthy in 2002, many doubted his ability to keep it together when it mattered at management level.
However, taking a back seat is something Keane has learned to do in his new role, aiding Paul Lambert at Aston Villa and O'Neill internationally, and looks more prepared than ever to take the reigns again at a big club.
The time spent with Ireland and shadowing in the Premier League look more and more like a CV builders for Keane, and with the long-awaited Euros on the horizon for Ireland, there will be plenty of time for the ex-midfield bruiser to think about his next career move.
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