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24th Jun 2024

Roy Keane gives insight into why talks to become Ireland manager collapsed

Zoe Hodges

‘I did speak to the Irish FA earlier this year’

Roy Keane has said it would be his ‘dream job’ to manage the Republic of Ireland.

The pundit, who was assistant manager of Ireland under Martin O’Neill from 2013-2018, has made no secret of his desire to get back into management and the revelation comes as the FAI look to appoint a permanent manager following Stephen Kenny’s departure last November.

John O’Shea has taken charge of the last two international windows on an interim basis but came under fire after losing 3-0 in a friendly against Portugal. Lee Carsley, Gus Poyet and Willy Sagnol have all been linked to the job.

Keane said: “If I could manage any team in the world, it would be going back to the Republic of Ireland job.

“I enjoyed the international setup when I was working with Martin O’Neill. I liked the dynamics and the flow of international football, and it wasn’t 24hrs a day, but I was still working at a high level. The dream job would be working for the national team, but I think that ship has sailed.”

Keane revealed that he had spoken to the FAI last year but added that ‘it didn’t mean anything would happen.’

“I did speak to the Irish FA earlier this year, but I spoke to loads of teams. You can speak to anyone, but it doesn’t mean that anything is going to happen because the deal needs to be done and that takes a while to be finalised.

“If you’re going to sit down with someone in a room, the clubs need to be serious in their approach, but a lot of the time, they aren’t and are just timewasters, just looking for headlines in the press.”

Keane’s last job as head coach ended in 2011 when he left Ipswich. He has also managed Sunderland and been assistant at Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

“With Sunderland, I fell into it accidentally and I wasn’t sure, but I’d only return to management if the offer was good, and I don’t think that’s going to happen.

“The only thing that would get me back into management is that I believe that I would do a good job, wherever I went. Maybe that’s my ego, but also if I didn’t get back into management, then I’d be fine with that.”

Despite his desire to manage Ireland, the former United captain enjoys his punditry and says he is happy with where he is.

“What I enjoy now is that I have great freedom in my life, and I answer to nobody.

“I’ve got my deals with a few TV companies, but if any of them called me up tomorrow to cancel my deal, then I wouldn’t be bothered as I’m comfortable.”

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