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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Apr 24, 2014

O'Neill in dark over Keane-United links

ESPN FC's Des Curran looks at the leading candidates to succeed David Moyes at Manchester United.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill says he knows nothing about suggestions that his assistant Roy Keane is being lined up for a role in Manchester United's next coaching team.

Keane says O'Neill is the 'bad cop' in their partnership.
Roy Keane has been working with Martin O'Neill for the Irish national side since last November.

• Okwonga: New beginnings
• Shaw: Where now for Moyes?
• Payne: An absolute shambles

Sources confirmed to ESPN FC that United have already made the first steps towards bringing in Netherlands manager Van Gaal following David Moyes' sacking on Tuesday.

There are reports that Van Gaal wants former United captain Keane to become his assistant if he takes over at Old Trafford, but O'Neill told the Irish Independent: "I don't know anything about it, I really don't."

O'Neill recruited Keane, who has managed both Sunderland and Ipswich, as his No.2 in November 2013.

Keane played for United between 1993 and 2005, becoming captain after Eric Cantona's retirement in 1997.

However, his return to Old Trafford would be controversial, given his fractious relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, who is a member of the board and is expected to play a part in the recruitment process.

Ferguson launched an attack on Keane in his 2013 autobiography, writing: "The hardest part of Roy's body is his tongue."

Keane, who has been a rare former United player to criticise Ferguson publically, said in 2008: "People say Ferguson always does what is right for Man United. I don’t think he does. I think he does what is right for him."

The 42-year-old stated on Tuesday that United’s squad and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward should share the blame for Moyes' failure.

"[Moyes] certainly had a hard start but I'd look at the chief executive, he didn't get the deals done," he said on ITV.

"I think it's a shame, he should have been given more time. Some of the players should be ashamed of themselves, they really let him down."

Hull and Ireland midfielder David Meyler believes Keane has the necessary skills to become the full-time manager at Old Trafford, with the Daily Mail reporting the 24-year-old as saying: "Do I think he’s good enough to do the [United] job? Yes, of course. He’d sort out a lot of stuff out there fairly lively."

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