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‘It’s okay’ – Roy Keane reveals why he turned down Sunderland job as Manchester United legend waits for ‘right club’ to relaunch his managerial career


Roy Keane has revealed his return to Sunderland “wasn’t meant to be”, but failing to return is “no big deal” in his quest to revive his managerial career.

Keane, who previously managed the Black Cats between 2006 and 2008, had been the favorite for the managerial post following the departure of former boss Lee Johnson.

Keane led Sunderland to the league title in 2007
GETTY

The Irishman’s reappointment would have added to the sense of nostalgia among the Sunderland faithful this season, with former striker Jermain Defoe returning to the Stadium of Light in January.

However, after a number of interviews and advanced discussions with the club’s board, Keane decided to turn down the job offer.

Former Norwich City and Preston North End boss Alex Neil has finally been selected to fill the vacant spot in the Black Cats hot seat.

Following the failed return to his former club, the former midfielder confessed that it was not written in the stars.


'It's okay' - Roy Keane reveals why he turned down Sunderland job as Manchester United legend waits for 'right club' to relaunch his managerial career
Keane failed to emulate the success he had in his first season as Sunderland with then-world champions Ipswich Town.
GETTY

Speaking to The Overlap Live in Manchester, Keane said: “The deal has to suit everyone. It didn’t come together last week. It wasn’t meant to be.

“Everything has to be perfect – the right challenge, the right contract.

“You have to enjoy it.”

The Manchester United legend had a flying start to his managerial career at Sunderland, earning promotion to the Premier League in his first season in charge.

However, an inconsistent start to the following Wearside campaign, disagreements with former Sunderland shareholder Ellis Short and a sense of loss of support from club chairman Niall Quinn ultimately led to Keane resigning.

After an unsuccessful spell at Ipswich Town, Keane’s managerial career came to a halt, with the 50-year-old choosing to take on assistant manager roles for the Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

'It's okay' - Roy Keane reveals why he turned down Sunderland job as Manchester United legend waits for 'right club' to relaunch his managerial career
Keane’s last coaching role was in 2019 when he was assistant manager at Nottingham Forest
GETTY

However, despite his current coaching drought and his failed return to Sunderland, Keane says he is patient when it comes to reigniting his managerial career.

“I haven’t had the opportunity in recent years,” he explained. “There hasn’t been a club where I think, ‘I’m the right candidate for this club’.

“You need a bit of luck. The right club should give you the call. This does not happen. It’s not a big deal.”

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