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Manchester United legend Roy Keane now a leading contender to take over as Ireland manager

Former Manchester United star Roy Keane is a leading contender to take over as the Republic of Ireland manager after meeting with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), according to the Irish Examiner.

The Red Devils legend has met with FAI officials three times and is one of the favourites to take over the position next month.

Keane served as Martin O’Neill’s assistant between 2013 and 2018 and could now take over from interim manager John O’Shea, who took over following Stephen Kenny’s departure last November.

He was also briefly the assistant manager of Aston Villa from July to November 2014, eventually quitting to concentrate on his assistant manager role with Ireland.

He reunited with O’Neill as assistant manager at Nottingham Forest in January 2019 before leaving six months later.

The Man United legend managed Sunderland from 2006 to 2008 before moving to Ipswich Town from 2009 to 2011.

Keane has been a pundit since his last managerial job having rejected an offer to manage Sunderland again, but he could soon be back in the dugout if the FAI are convinced he is the best man for the job.

Sir Alex Ferguson once tipped the 52-year-old for the Man United job, and he could find himself in the running for the Old Trafford job in the future if he ends up returning to management and impressing with Ireland.

Keane is very passionate about the Red Devils, and having such a character managing the players could be a game-changer for the club.

He recently admitted on an episode of the Stick to Football podcast that he is open to international management again as it is not as stressful as working at club level.