Former Sunderland and Ipswich Town boss Roy Keane could return to management after 11 years out of the job with Stadium of Light chiefs preparing for talks this week
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane could seal a sensational return to management with Sunderland preparing to enter talks with their ex-boss.
Keane, 50, was in charge of the Black Cats for over two years before standing down in December 2008, and he has not held a senior managerial role since he was sacked by Ipswich Town in January 2011.
He subsequently served as an assistant for Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, while he now occupies a role as a regular pundit on Sky Sports’ Premier League coverage.
Meanwhile, League One side Sunderland are on the hunt for their next manager having sacked Lee Johnson on Sunday following a humiliating 6-0 defeat by Bolton Wanderers one day earlier.
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Stadium of Light chiefs hope to hold talks with Keane over the vacancy in the coming days and many within the club would support his appointment, according to the Daily Mail.
The report adds the no-nonsense former midfielder is viewed as the type of character to get Sunderland’s bid for promotion to the Championship back on track.
The club are third in the table behind Rotherham and Wigan Athletic, both of whom have games in hand.
Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman are expected to lead the interview process to appoint Johnson’s successor.
The Black Cats have been languishing in the third tier since they suffered back-to-back relegations in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons.
They have reached the play-offs two times since then but fell short against Charlton Athletic in the 2019 final and Lincoln City in the semi-finals two years later.
During his reign on Wearside, Keane led Sunderland to the Championship title in the 2006/07 campaign and secured Premier League survival the following term.
However, he left the club in December 2008 due to disagreements with then-owner Ellis Short and chairman Niall Quinn, having already cast doubt over his future with the club.
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Keane was less successful during his stint with Ipswich, but he has often talked-up a return to the dugout in recent years.
In the meantime, Mike Dodds will lead Sunderland’s interim management team alongside first-team coach Phil Jevons and goalkeeping coach David Preece.
The Black Cats host Doncaster Rovers on Saturday afternoon and Jermain Defoe could make his second debut for the club having signed a short-term deal until the end of the season on deadline day.
The former England striker returns to the Stadium of Light after four-and-a-half years away, during which he won the Scottish Premiership with Rangers.