Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has dismissed recent rumours linking him with a coaching role at his old club, insisting he has no plans to leave his current job.
Since David Moyes was sacked by United on Tuesday and replaced by interim manager Ryan Giggs, Keane has been linked with a role to assist either Giggs or Louis van Gaal, the current favourite to take over at the club in the long term.
However Keane, currently assistant to Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, has quashed these rumours, stating he is happy in his current job for which he is contracted until 2016.
As Damian Spellman reported in the Irish Independent, he said:
People keep asking me about other jobs, I've got a job and I'm very happy with my job. [...]
[W]hatever has gone on at certain clubs, it really is none of my business. [...]
I have been a manager before, so I will look at David Moyes and say I don't like what happened to him. But regarding other issues at whether it be Man United or Arsenal or other football clubs, it's none of my business and it doesn't keep me awake at night.
Rumours had been reported that Keane would be Van Gaal's preferred assistant, rather than Giggs, because he has managerial experience at Sunderland and Ipswich, per Liam Prenderville in the Mirror.
But Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney had already attempted to quash the rumours of Keane leaving his post with Ireland as well as the possibility of some kind of job share, as The Telegraph reported on Friday:
I was talking to Martin O'Neill the other day and I fully expect both Martin and Roy to be with the Irish team to the Euros in 2016.
I think that's just speculation [Keane going to United]. Roy signed his contract and Martin signed his contract and both are hugely committed to doing the job with the Republic of Ireland.
There is going to be lots of speculation as to who will manage Manchester United in the coming weeks and months but from our point of view, Martin and Roy will be staying with us for sure.
Keane spent 12 years at Old Trafford, eight of them as captain, until he left the club in acrimonious circumstances in 2005, per BBC News.
Keane continues to have a bad relationship with long-term boss Sir Alex Ferguson, as these comments reported by The Telegraph's Mark Ogden suggest:
Roy Keane today on whether he would speak to Fergie again. "Not sure, probably not, but I've said that about other people." More to follow..— Mark Ogden (@MOgdenTelegraph) April 28, 2014
He won seven Premier League titles under Sir Alex at United as well as the Champions League as captain of the historic 1999 treble-winning side.
Football writer Graham Ruthven points out that with United not even having a full-time replacement for Moyes yet, speculation about the assistant job seems slightly absurd:
Must admit, can't get enough of these MUFC rumours. Anyone see the one claiming Roy Keane will be assistant? They don't even have a manager!— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) April 23, 2014
Giggs, in charge until the end of the season, oversaw a 4-0 victory against Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
If this result is repeated in United's last three games of the season, it could see Giggs replace Van Gaal as the favourite to take the managerial role in the long term.
However, whatever else happens it now seems certain that Keane will not be imminently returning to the club he served for so many years.