Updated: Thursday, 29 May 2014 19:48 | Comments
By Seán Folan
Roy Keane has had ‘informal’ talks with Celtic about becoming new manager, Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has said.
O’Neill, speaking at a media briefing following Ireland training at the Aviva Stadium, said his assistant manager Keane had spoken with Celtic director and majority shareholder Dermot Desmond about the vacant managerial post at Parkhead.
Former Celtic boss O’Neill said: “I had a call the other day from Dermot Desmond wanting to speak to Roy, if it was at all possible.
“I mentioned it to Roy, of course. I’m sure he was wanting to have a chat, anyway, because managing a club like Celtic might not come around too often.
“It was just really a really informal chat, I think.”
O’Neill said he would “obviously” be disappointed if the 42-year-old Corkman left his post with Ireland but that Celtic was a huge job and big opportunity, and that Keane had “obviously got a lot to consider”.
He said that Keane had had a number of other offers.
O’Neill said he expected Keane to travel to England with the Republic of Ireland squad for their friendly against Italy on Saturday in Craven Cottage. But he could not confirm that Keane would travel with the squad to the US for the friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal.
It was a possibility that Keane could combine a Celtic role with his Republic of Ireland role, O’Neill said, but it “might be difficult”.
Neil Lennon stood down as Celtic manager last week and a host of names have been mentioned as his replacement in the Parkhead hot-seat.
However, 42-year-old Keane is now an odds-on favourite for the vacant post ahead of former Cardiff boss Malky Mackay and one-time Ireland international Owen Coyle.
Former Celtic great Henrik Larsson had been tipped for the job, but the Swede ruled himself out of the running.
Keane had a stint playing with the Hoops between 2005 and 2006 after leaving Manchester United.