Former Manchester United captain, Roy Keane, has been tipped to become the new Republic of Ireland boss by his former manager at Aston Villa, Paul Lambert.
Lambert was Aston Villa’s head coach between 2012-2015 and the Irishman was his assistant for a brief stint in 2014.
The Irish national job position has also been vacant since Stephen Kenny’s contract was not renewed in November after he failed to guide the side to Euro 2024 qualification following a lacklustre campaign.
The Boys in Green only managed six points from eight games and both those wins came against lowly Gibraltar.
According to The Daily Express, Lambert states that Keane taking up the Irish national team job is “a no-brainer, for me”.
“For him to step back into management with Ireland, if that was the case. He’d be hugely popular with the Irish supporters, he’s got that link with Celtic too”.
The former Manchester United captain has managed Sunderland and Ipswich but he has had not secured a job in management since 2011.
However, he has had assistant gigs at Ireland, Aston Villa and most recently, Nottingham Forest.
The legendary United midfielder has spent much more of post-player career working as a pundit for channels such as Sky Sports and ITV.
When asked about the former Man United number 16’s suitability for the role, Lambert asserted, “if you’re asking me ‘could he do the job?’ I’d say he could do it standing on his head, absolutely no problem”.
“Put it this way… would it surprise me to see him in the Ireland job? No, it wouldn’t, because it’s in his make-up to manage. He’s a great guy who really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to football, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all, no”.
However, the Scottish manager also stated that the role may not appeal to Keane as he may be enjoying the punditry too much to consider giving it up for football management.
Keane did have his problems when working as an assistant at club and international level.
Whilst at Villa, he fell out with numerous players and had a tense relationship with the Irish media during his spell with the national team before.
The former Scotland international tried to quell such doubts by claiming, “it’s all changed, I think, at the top of the FAI, from when Roy was a player. It’s a new regime, a clean sheet, really, so I don’t think there’d be any problems there”.