Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

‘As simple as that’ – Roy Keane defiant on chances of becoming next Man Utd manager

Roy Keane, Sky Sports pundit gives transfer advice to Dele Alli - pic via Sky Sports

Legendary ex-midfielder Roy Keane categorically stated whether he’ll be the next Man Utd manager after opening up on why his return to Sunderland fell through.

Roy Keane, 50, has not taken a main managerial role since leaving Ipswich Town in 2011. Keane spent five years as assistant to Martin O’Neill with Ireland between 2013-18. He followed that up with further assistant roles at Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

But it is as a pundit on Sky Sports and ITV where Keane has been most prevalent in his post-playing career.

Indeed, Keane has earned rave reviews for his no-nonsense and direct style of punditry. His willingness to call it as he sees it and name names is something not every pundit is prepared to do.

The Man Utd hotseat is expected to become vacant at the end of the season with Ralf Rangnick tipped to mvoe upstairs. The German holds ambitions of being appointed on a permanent basis, though performances would have to dramatically improve between now and June for that to happen.

Mauricio Pochettino is the name most frequently touted with taking the reins. However, whether he has the gravitas to control a squad full of egos remains to be seen. Indeed, his stint at PSG has not been smooth sailing.

Keane would command the respect of a United dressing room that has persistently underachieved. However, when speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap Live (via Goal), Keane insisted taking the Man Utd job is a total non-starter.

“My CV wouldn’t warrant it” – Roy Keane

“That’s never going to happen,” he told Neville.

“My CV wouldn’t warrant it – it’s as simple as that. The Man United job is a tough job.”

Keane then opened up on why a mooted return to Sunderland – who he managed between 2006-08 – didn’t materialise. The Irishman was linked with the post following Lee Johnson’s dismissal in late-January. However, Keane suggested that “as usual”, the deal fell through due to money.

Harry Kane to Manchester United will be Poch’s first signing

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“As usual it came down to money,” said Keane. “There’s always offers of work, but the deal just didn’t fall into place last week.

“There’s lots of pitfalls as an ex-player, but you’ve got to keep yourself busy. But everything has got to be right, the contract and the challenge.”

Rangnick unaware of heated Leeds rivalry

Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick says he was unaware of the big rivalry between Manchester United and Leeds as he pointed out one big weakness of the West Yorkshire side.

United will travel across the Pennines on Sunday afternoon to face a Leeds side threatened with relegation. Last week’s 3-0 defeat at Everton has piled the pressure on the Whites. United meanwhile managed a morale-boosting win over Brighton in midweek to elevate themselves into the top four.

The German coach is though very aware of the way that Marcelo Bielsa’s team plays. Bielsa often encourages his team to play with speed and defend man-to-man, but Rangnick says they are vulnerable at the back.

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds

“Leeds are a team that play with the highest amount of speed, so it’s important for us not to allow them to play like that,” said the United interim boss.

“Whenever they pass the ball they’re trying to increase the tempo of the game, another thing they’re very man orientated. They play with the highest amount of speed momentum tempo, we need to stop them doing that.

“Equally they concede a lot, only Norwich have conceded more. We are well prepared to play for 90 minutes and stick to the game plan.”

Asked about the nature of the rivalry between the two sides, he said: “I didn’t know that until a week ago. 

“But most of my colleagues have indicated this is probably one of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League. And of course I had those local derbies in Germany – Schalke vs Borussia Dortmund as one example.

“Our team has a lot of experience playing in that atmosphere and it may raise their performance. Last year at Leeds it was behind closed doors. Everybody prefers to play in a sold-out stadium rather than an empty one and I’m looking forward to it.”

PREDICTIONS: One step forward two back for Man Utd; surprise disagreement on Man City v Spurs; Arsenal dealt blow