Roy Keane has said no to Glasgow Celtic after a last minute change of heart – but now Aston Villa want him as their assistant boss.
Keane told Irish boss Martin O’Neill that he would be staying on with the national team on Monday, just as Celtic fans awaited confirmation that he would succeed Neil Lennon.
Then it emerged that former Celtic midfielder Paul Lambert wants to bring Keane to Villa Park as his new assistant.
Lambert, close friends with O’Neill, is prepared to allow Keane remain in his Ireland role on a part-time basis.
Former Irish goalkeeper Shay Given was appointed as a coach on a temporary basis by Lambert at the end of last season when the club sacked half his backroom team.
The Irish Independent reports that the 42-year-old Keane chose to stay with Ireland after Saturday night’s impressive performance in a scoreless draw with World Cup finalists Italy.
Although not formally offered the Celtic job, Keane was the choice of majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and spoke with the financier last week.
A Celtic source said: “Roy was not offered the job - no-one has been offered it yet. But he has ruled himself out and asked not to be considered for the position.”
Now the former West Brom boss and Chelsea coach Steve Clarke has emerged as the new favourite for the Celtic job.
And Keane will depart for America with the Ireland squad on Wednesday ahead of the friendly games against Costa Rica and Portugal.
A statement from the FAI confirmed that Keane is staying with Ireland after asking ‘not to be considered’ for the Celtic vacancy.