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Roy Keane offered Villa assistant role

Roy Keane could be set to return to the Premier League.

Roy Keane has been offered the chance to become Paul Lambert's assistant at Aston Villa, according to a report in the Sunday World.

The Irish newspaper have been informed that Republic of Ireland assistant coach Keane has been in talks with Villa in recent days, after he was approached by Scottish Premier League champions Celtic about taking over as their manager last week.

Keane confirmed on Monday that he would continue in his role as Martin O'Neill's high profile assistant after "deciding not to pursue talks with Celtic any further," according a statement released by the Football Association of Ireland.

Now it seems as if Keane's motivation to reject the Celtic job may have been due, in part, to the opportunity being presented to him by Lambert at Villa, which would allow him to continue in his post with Ireland through the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.

There was some dissent directed at Keane among Ireland fans last week as it seemed as if he may be about to walk away from a role in the national team squad for a second time, 12 years after his infamous fall-out with manager Mick McCarthy saw the former Manchester United captain spurn the chance to play in the 2002 World Cup finals.

Yet the chance to work with his colleague Lambert at Villa clearly appeals to Keane, who was keen to make a return to the Premier League after his spell in charge of Sunderland in English football's top division ended in disappointing fashion back in 2008.

Keane has confirmed he will travel to America with the Ireland squad for their upcoming friendly internationals Portugal and Costa Rica, with the prospect of playing a prominent role at a top Premier League club awaiting the 42-year-old when he returns.

The move may represent something of a gamble for Keane, after Villa owner Randy Lerner confirmed last month that he intends to sell the club this summer. However, the ex-Ipswich boss appears to be attracted to the prospect of working at the highest level of English football once again and if his appointment is confirmed, it will be viewed as a strong first signing of the summer for Lambert after a difficult second season in charge at Villa.

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