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10th Feb 2022

Roy Keane reportedly rejects offer to be become Sunderland manager

Robert Redmond

Keane has rejected the chance of a second stint at the Stadium of Light

Roy Keane has turned down the opportunity to become Sunderland manager, according to reports.

The Irishman had been heavily linked with a return to the Stadium of Light for his second stint in the dugout, 13 years after he was last the club’s manager.

Yet, he has decided against a dramatic return to the Black Cats, according to The Athletic.

Roy Keane decides against return to Sunderland for second stint as manager

The Black Cats have been searching for a new manager since sacking Lee Johnson on January 30 after a 6-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman led the process to fill the vacant position, and managers such as Mick McCarthy, Jonathan Woodgate, Neil Warnock and Grant McCann were linked with the post.

Keane was approached last week and is said to have impressed the Sunderland hierarchy in his interview. The former Manchester United captain took part in a second round of interviews and was reportedly offered the position on Wednesday.

Keane, however, has seemingly decided against a return to the club. According to reports, he is ‘no longer under consideration’ for the vacant position.

keane sunderland

Keane turns down Sunderland

The Irishman, 50, remains a popular figure on Wearside after his last stint in charge from 2006 to 2008, when he helped the club get promoted to the Premier League and remain in the top flight.

The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain has been working as a pundit for ITV and Sky Sports, but was understood to be eager to get back into management.

Yet, after taking some time to consider his options, he was reportedly turned down the offer from his former club.

Keane’s career in management

The Irishman’s spell as Sunderland manager was largely successful, as he guided the Black Cats into the Premier League as Championship winners in his first season.

Sunderland then remained in the top flight in Keane’s second season. The Cork-native left the club in December 2008, citing differences with then-owner Ellis Short.

Keane’s next job as a manager was with Ipswich Town between April 2009 and January 2011. He was then the Republic of Ireland assistant manager under Martin O’Neill from 2013 to 2018, a period which involved a brief spell as Paul Lambert’s assistant at Aston Villa.

Keane has not worked in coaching since leaving Nottingham Forest in 2019, where he had been O’Neill’s assistant manager.