The Irish Independent has reported that Roy Keane was top of Limerick’s list to replace Martin Russell as manager.
The Ireland assistant boss has hinted in the past that a return to club management could be on the cards in the future with Sunderland and Ipswich Town his only two previous managerial posts. Having not been a first team manager since 2011, Keane briefly combined his assistant role with Ireland as Paul Lambert’s number two at Aston Villa in 2014.
Ambitious Limerick were said to have offered Keane a staggering €250,000 contract before eventually appointing experienced tactician Neil McDonald on Thursday. Keane was spotted at Limerick’s game against Drogheda United last month but no reason has been presented as to why Keane may have turned down the offer.
The fact that his salary with the FAI is said to be in and around double that figure could have been a huge factor, although there may have been a possibility to combine the Limerick job with his international role.
The former Manchester United captain is also an ex-League of Ireland player himself having togged out for fellow Munster side Cobh Ramblers prior to joining Nottingham Forest in 1990.
The man Limerick did eventually appoint is 51-year-old McDonald. The Englishman, who worked under former Limerick boss Sam Allardyce, has an array of experience as an assistant but has also enjoyed spells in charge of Carlisle, Blackpool and Swedish outfit Ostersunds FK.
Limerick sit sixth in the table on 17 points and will hope to gradually build in the coming years following significant financial backing.
It is not the first time Limerick have been linked with big name involvement though, as last year it was rumoured that Michael Essien was interested in taking a stake in the club. This was later denied by chairman Pat O’Sullivan.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena