Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane could be the ‘perfect fit’ to fill the managerial vacancy at Celtic, according to the 49-year-old’s ex-international team-mate Richard Dunne. The Parkhead club are in the hunt for Neil Lennon’s successor after his resignation earlier this week, with the controversial boss having failed miserably in the battle with cross-city rivals Rangers for this season’s Scottish Premiership title.
The Hoops were in the hunt for a tenth consecutive domestic triumph, but look set to miss out after a lacklustre campaign which has allowed Steven Gerrard’s side to race into an 18-point lead at the top of the table.
Keane’s career in management has produced mixed levels of success, with the Irishman having been out of a job for the entirety of the last decade.
He led Sunderland from the brink of third-tier relegation to Premier League promotion in his first season, and went on to keep them up before eventually leaving in 2009.
Two months later he was given the Ipswich Town job, but his time in Suffolk was characterised by desperately poor recruitment and an abject failure to meet the club’s aim of challenging for a top-flight berth.
Keane was finally sacked amid growing pressure from supporters in 2011 and has not returned to management since.
Despite this, Dunne is convinced that his former skipper would be a success at Celtic, claiming that he has learned from his previous mistakes and could finally be ready to get back into the game.
He also highlighted the prospect of Keane rekindling his rivalry with Liverpool legend Gerrard if the pair were to meet in the fiery Old Firm derby matches.
“It doesn’t matter that Roy Keane hasn’t managed a team in ten years,” Dunne told Irish newspaper The Herald. “He could still be the perfect fit for Celtic if they decided to go down that route.
“I don’t know if it will happen or if the Celtic board already have someone in mind. But the sight of Roy in the dugout at Parkhead, going head to head with Steven Gerrard in a derby, would be brilliant to watch, two people who never held back as players and wouldn’t hold back as managers.
“Roy is older now and he has mellowed a bit, learned a bit more. Andd if Celtic, or another club for that matter, decide to hire him, they are getting a Roy Keane that’s better than the one of ten years ago.
“Having been out of the game as manager won’t detract from him at all.”
Keane has worked as an assistant manager on a number of occasions since leaving Ipswich, with spells at Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and the Ireland national side helping him to learn more about the perils and pitfalls of the job.
It remains to be seen whether Celtic will approach the former midfielder or turn their attention towards one of their other reported targets.
Caretaker boss Jason Kennedy appears to be the favourite to be given the job on a full-time basis, but the Glasgow giants could also look to make an external appointment with a number of highly-rated managers currently available.
Rafa Benitez, Eddie Howe and Frank Lampard are all unemployed, while Scotland manager Steve Clarke has also been placed among the favourites for the vacancy.
Meanwhile, West Ham boss David Moyes and under-fire Ipswich manager Paul Lambert, who have both been tipped as potential candidates in recent weeks, have already ruled themselves out of the running.