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Football: Celtic confirm Keane interest

Scottish champions Celtic have confirmed Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane is a candidate to become their new boss in succession to Neil Lennon.

LONDON: Scottish champions Celtic have confirmed Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane is a candidate to become their new boss in succession to Neil Lennon.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, himself once in charge of the Glasgow giants, confirmed on Thursday that former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder Keane had discussions with the club after a request from Hoops owner and majority shareholder Dermot Desmond.

Former Sunderland boss Keane, 42, has been looking for a managerial role since leaving Ipswich in 2011 and the chance to succeed Lennon, who left Celtic last week after four years in charge, would presumably tempt him to leave his position as O'Neill's number two.

Asked how many people were being considered for the vacancy, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell told Scottish Television on Friday: "Between five and 10.

"We are looking at a number of exceptional candidates and we're going through a process. Hopefully it won't take too long.

"Clearly we want to do it as soon as we possibly can but these things you can't put a time on.

"We have got a number of excellent candidates, Roy is one of them and we'll see what happens in the next week or two.

"He's played here, he's a Celtic supporter, he's a first class guy and like the others are, as I said we have between five and 10 candidates.

"You just have to do your work properly and hopefully we'll get it done as soon as we can.

"As soon as we do that we will let our supporters know.

"You don't want to get it wrong by going too fast, you need to take your time and make sure you get the right guy."

Keane spent the second half of the 2005/06 season at Celtic after his controversial exit from Old Trafford following a falling-out with United manager Alex Ferguson.

He played only 13 times for the Hoops, but managed to help them win the Scottish title before retiring at the end of the season due to a long-standing hip injury.

Meanwhile Friday saw Keane on the training pitch with the Republic squad ahead of their friendly international against Italy in London on Saturday.

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