Keane cools talk of United role or Fergie reunion

Frank Dalleres
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FORMER Manchester United captain Roy Keane has played down suggestions he could return to Old Trafford this summer as part of a major coaching shake-up.

Keane has been mentioned as a possible assistant to whoever United appoint as manager following David Moyes’s sacking last week, with Holland boss Louis van Gaal the frontrunner.

But the 42-year-old has emphasised he is happy in his current role as assistant to Republic of Ireland coach Martin O’Neill, even if he admits to hankering after a return to management himself.

“People keep asking me, ironically, about other jobs. I have got a job and I am very happy in my job,” he said. “In my quiet moments, I want to go back into being a manager myself. I was at a match on Saturday and I am up in the stand thinking, ‘I would love to have a team’. And then I’ll get back in my car and I spoke to Martin, and then I am thinking I am delighted to be working with Martin and [goalkeeping coach] Seamus [McDonagh] and the other staff, so you have to be careful what you wish for. I am just really appreciating the opportunity I have at the moment.”

One possible barrier to a Keane return to United might be the presence on the board of Sir Alex Ferguson. Their clash led to Keane’s sudden exit from the club in 2005 after a dozen trophy-laden years, and he concedes that it may be too late for the combustible pair to return to speaking terms.

“No, I am not sure. Probably not. But look, I have said that about other people,” the former Sunderland and Ipswich boss added. “Football is a funny old game and you get clashes of personality sometimes, but it’s something that’s not on my mind at the moment, to be honest with you, whether it be good or bad.”

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti last night ruled himself out of taking the vacancy at Old Trafford. He said: “I want to stay at Real Madrid for a long time.”