On Sunday morning, Nottingham Forest confirmed the news that Roy Keane would be leaving his role as the club’s assistant manager to Martin O’Neill.
Keane only joined Forest in January, after five years as the Irish assistant manager, but has left the club which finished the season in ninth under the duo.
With Keane now gone from Nottingham Forest and the haste at which it occurred questions must turn to what’s next for the former Manchester United and Ireland captain.
Here are five potential next moves for Roy Keane following his departure from the City Ground.
5) Derby County Manager
The most unlikely of the five moves but one that isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, Keane could be a contender for the Derby County job ahead of the new season.
If reports are to be believed, current Rams boss Frank Lampard will be at Chelsea next season and Derby will need a replacement as they look to once again push for promotion.
Keane hasn’t had a full managerial job since being sacked by Ipswich however and his poor recent record may not excite County fans who will no doubt need an exciting name to replace the now beloved Lampard.
The former Irish captain’s links to Derby’s rivals Nottingham Forest is another reason why the move is unlikely.
4) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Assistant At Manchester United
According to Daniel Taylor in The Guardian, Keane left Nottingham Forest as he wants to resurrect his own managerial career, but a return to his old club Manchester United in any capacity would be a massive role for the Cork native.
United have been reportedly on the lookout for a Director of Football and although that role may not suit Keane, his influence around the club could be a huge boost to them next season.
As a captain who won so much at Old Trafford, Keane would know how to tap into the club’s winning mentality perhaps as assistant to Solskjaer and would no doubt challenge those causing unrest in the dressing room.
An unlikely move though given his apparent desire for his own managerial job.
3) Birmingham City Manager
This would almost be the perfect role for Keane as his first managerial job since 2011. A club at Championship level, but one that isn’t expected to even push for the playoffs next season.
The only issue is, the volatility of their chief executive Xuandong Ren and their owners Trillion Trophy Asia, who sacked former boss Gary Monk despite the former Swansea man keeping them up amidst a nine-point deduction for a breach of Financial Fair Play rules last season.
Keane, who has famously failed to see eye to eye with many in football, may not be the right man for the St Andrews club given their current situation.
He also had a brief spell at Aston Villa, something Birmingham fans may just take exception to.
2) Doncaster Rovers Manager
Although League One may be seen as a step-down for Keane given the level of his two previous jobs, albeit as assistant manager, Doncaster Rovers could be the perfect fit for his managerial resurrection.
Beaten narrowly by Charlton in the play-off semi-final last season, Doncaster have built a steady squad and look in a position to challenge again under a new manager following the departure of Grant McCann to Hull City.
Keane wouldn’t have a massive budget but would likely be given a lot of control and freedom at the Keepmoat without the huge scrutiny he may come under should he take a job at a club higher up the divisions.
Doncaster and Keane could turn out to be an excellent fit.
1) Sunderland Manager
The prodigal son returns to once again take Sunderland from the wilderness back on a pathway to the top flight where their fanbase believe they belong.
Sunderland currently have a manager in Jack Ross who, in truth, did a fine job throughout the League One campaign but there’s no doubt that given the position they were in towards the end of the season they should have achieved promotion.
Keane knows the club and is still generally well liked by its fan base and could be just the injection of winning mentality that they need to finally bring some long-awaited joy to the Stadium of Light.