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United icon Keane interested in Ireland job

Roy Keane Roy Keane - The Canadian Press

Could Roy Keane be readying a return to management?

The Manchester United legend told the Stick to Football panel that managing the Republic of Ireland national team was appealing. Ireland has been without a manager since the dismissal of Stephen Kenny in November after the team's inability to qualify for Euro 2024.

Keane, 52, previously served as manager of Sunderland (2006 to 2008) and Ipswich Town (2009 to 2011) and served under Martin O'Neill on the Ireland staff from 2013 to 2018.

"I liked 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 or the academy," Keane told Frank Lampard, Ian Wright, Jill Scott, Jamie Carragher and former United teammate Gary Neville. "Yeah, that [international football] does appeal."

The Cork native also mooted a potential return to club management any time soon.

"Not that you're going to get the Real Madrid job, but it's got to be the right challenge, the right club, it's got to be the right contract, can you bring your staff?" Keane said, "I discuss this all the time. 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 or whatever? I'd like to go back into management, but I'm not desperate to sign any contract for anybody."

Keane was capped 67 times by Ireland between 1991 and 2005 and appeared at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Infamously, Keane and then manager Mick McCarthy had a bust-up at the 2002 World Cup after Keane complained about the quality of the team's training facilities in Japan. Keane announced his plan to depart the tournament and gave an interview to the Irish Times about his decision. McCarthy then angrily confronted Keane over the interview in front of the rest of the team and coaching staff. It was then that Keane unleashed a vicious dressing down of his manager.

"Mick, you're a liar... you're a f---ing w---er," Keane said to McCarthy. "I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate you as a person. You're a f---ing w---er and you can stick your World Cup up your a---. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your b-------."

Keane spent 13 seasons with the Red Devils after a move from Nottingham Forest in 1993. In his time at Old Trafford, Keane won eight Premier League titles and the 1999 Champions League crown.