May 29, 2014, 7:54 PM EST
It’s been over three years since Roy Keane left the sidelines of Ipswich Town, but having returned to coaching as Martin O’Neill’s number two with the Republic of Ireland, the former Manchester United great is clearly interested in continuing his career in coaching, in some form. Now, with the final club to employ him as a player suddenly in need of a manager, the door may be open for Keane to restart his once promising managerial career.
According to sources out of Ireland, Keane, who currently spends much of his soccer life on television, has had informal talks with Celtic about the Scottish giant’s open managerial position. From the Irish Independent:
Martin O’Neill has confirmed that Roy Keane has been approached by Celtic about taking over as manager of the club ..
… speaking at an Ireland training session at Lansdowne Road this evening, the Ireland manager confirmed that Celtic owner Dermot Desmond has approached him to gain permission to talk to Keane about the job.
“I’d be disappointed if he’s gone but a club like Celtic is a very big club and these particular offers may not come around often,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill himself is a former manager at Celtic, but that was back when the Scotland’s first division was competitive. Since Rangers were relegated to the fourth tier two years ago, Celtic’s won consecutive, practically uncontested titles. With their Glasgow rivals in the second division for this coming season, the Bhoys are expected to ease to a third straight title.
That may make Celtic’s the perfect job for Keane. After enjoying huge initial success as a manager with Sunderland, Keane’s star began to dim once the Black Cats were back in the Premier League. After leaving that club, he dropped back down the Championship to join Ipswich Town, an appointment that lasted just over 20 months.
As of now, there is no momentum to Keane’s managerial career. Given the competition he’d face at Celtic, it will be difficult to leave a spell at Parkhead without an improved résumé. At a minimum, Keane will have a stable, winning environment to grow into who he wants to be as a coach.
If Keane sees being a manager as part of his soccer future, a job like Celtic’s is the perfect way to get back on track. Whether that’s worth leaving his positions with Ireland and on television may determine if he’s back on the sidelines come August.
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