Former Manchester United defender and Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has surprisingly backed Roy Keane to return to Old Trafford in some capacity as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s project, although the Sky Sports pundit may receive a rival job offer first.
Ratcliffe is close to purchasing a 25 per cent stake in Man Utd from the Glazer family worth £1.3billion. The British billionaire is eager to engineer a full takeover at some point in the future, as he claims to be a boyhood fan of the club, though it remains to be seen whether the Glazers are open to discussing a complete exit.
The Glazers had also been in negotiations with Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim over an immediate, 100 per cent takeover. However, they frustrated Sheikh Jassim by repeatedly lifting the asking price, which saw Ratcliffe’s rival walk away from talks and put him in pole position to achieve his dream.
Ratcliffe looks set to make big changes at Man Utd as soon as his 25 per cent stake is complete, as CEO Richard Arnold will leave by the end of the year.
Ratcliffe is hopeful of making former Liverpool transfer expert Michael Edwards Man Utd’s new sporting director, while there have also been rumours about him sacking Erik ten Hag and bringing in a world-class new manager.
Somewhere in the midst of all those changes, Bruce thinks Keane could do a good job in helping the Red Devils get back to the summit of English and European football.
In an interview with The Irish Examiner, Bruce was asked about the 52-year-old, whose last job outside of punditry was as Nottingham Forest’s assistant manager between January and June 2019.
“It wouldn’t surprise me to see Roy take up a role at Man Utd,” he said. “We all know how highly he’s thought of at the club as he was there for 13 years and served as a huge captain for them. Who knows? I’m sure he’d be open to any discussion.”
Roy Keane a rumoured target for Man Utd, Republic of Ireland
However, Ratcliffe will have to act quickly if he is to bring Keane back into the fold at Man Utd. That is because the former midfielder has emerged as an early frontrunner for the Republic of Ireland job, following the departure of Stephen Kenny.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have announced that Kenny’s contract will not be renewed, which is mainly down to his team failing to qualify for Euro 2024.
On Keane potentially being appointed by the FAI, Bruce added: “It’s been four years since Roy managed, and of course he’d be on everybody’s lips when it comes to Ireland – he’s always box office.
“Roy going back into football wouldn’t surprise me. He may have made himself into the face of punditry, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him back in football as I know he loves it.
“I see Roy a lot as he goes to Salford games if he’s not working on a Saturday. My son-in-law plays there, too, so I see a lot of their games. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Roy go back to any job in football.”