- POSTED: 30 May 2014 04:14
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane has held talks with Scottish champions Celtic over their vacant manager's job.
LONDON: Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane has held talks with Scottish champions Celtic over their vacant manager's job.
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill confirmed on Thursday that former Manchester United and Celtic midfielder Keane had discussions with the Glasgow 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 Neil 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.
"I had a call the other day from Dermot Desmond wanting to speak to Roy if it was at all possible, and I mentioned it to Roy, of course," O'Neill said.
"I am sure he was wanting to have chat anyway because a club like Celtic might not come around too often.
"It was just a really informal chat, I think, but if you are asking me would I be really disappointed? Of course if Roy was to leave us."
Keane spent the second half of the 2005-06 season at Celtic after his controversial departure 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.
O'Neill's comments came minutes after he and Keane had put their players through their paces in an open training session ahead of Saturday's friendly against Italy at Fulham's Craven Cottage.
But, asked if Keane had been offered the job, O'Neill said: "I think it was really just informal chats."
Celtic later confirmed they are in talks with several candidates about the job.
A statement said: "Following speculation concerning the manager's position at Celtic, the club can confirm that it is currently continuing its discussions with a number of excellent candidates.
"We will continue this process and select who we regard as the best appointment for Celtic. We will update our supporters as soon as this process is complete."
O'Neill knows what it takes to thrive at Celtic after his successful five-year spell in charge there, but asked if it was too good an opportunity for Keane to turn down, he said: "I don't know. It's a very big job obviously and those kind of offers might not come around.
"But as we speak at this minute, I'm really unsure. I'm trying to give you an impression of being unsure.
"For me, that's what I wanted to do in 2000 when Celtic came for me. I loved Leicester City, it was great. Celtic came along and it was what I wanted to do."
And quizzed on whether Keane was ready for the task of managing the Scottish champions, O'Neill added: "I think Roy's ready for anything. I think he's always been ready for anything."