Roy Keane quits as ITV pundit ahead of the World Cup - Joining Aston Villa?

Roy Keane Signing Autographs as Man Utd player

Republic of Ireland assistant manager has been linked with the same role at Aston Villa this week

Roy Keane has quit as a pundit for ITV’s football coverage just nine days before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil gets underway.

Keane has said he wants to focus fully on his role as assistant coach with the Republic of Ireland, and will not travel to South America this summer.

The former Manchester United captain has been in the news for the majority of the last seven days. He was linked with the Celtic vacancy towards the end of last week, where he was tipped to take over from Neil Lennon.

Keane, a boyhood Celtic fan, then spoke with the club before deciding to stay with the Republic of Ireland coaching team. He was then thrust back into the limelight on Monday evening as he was reportedly approached by Aston Villa to become their assistant manager and work under boss Paul Lambert, where it remains to be seen if he will join the midlands club.

But his exit from ITV the day before they are due to screen England’s second World Cup warm-up match against Ecuador, could hint that he may be prepared to help Villa in their pre-season plans.

The Republic of Ireland failed to reach the World Cup in Brazil, and despite friendlies with Costa Rica and Portugal to come this week, Keane would have been filling time this summer as an ITV pundit. Surely he has something more planned?

Keane has managed twice in his career so far at Sunderland and Ipswich Town. The former Ireland international, who famously fell out with Mick McCarthy in the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, resigned from his post with Sunderland at the end of 2008, while he was sacked as Ipswich boss in 2011.

Keane may be looking to rebuild his career after a few years away from the dugout, and looks to have given up the television work to continue, and possibly expand his coaching requirements.

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