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The former Sunderland and Ipswich Town boss is expected to become Martin O'Neill's number two should the Northern Irishman take the position as Republic of Ireland manager

Roy Keane could make a return to the Republic of Ireland camp, as he is being heavily linked with the assistant manager's role under Martin O'Neill.

The two former Sunderland bosses are expected to take charge of the Boys in Green for Euro 2016 qualifying, with O'Neill currently in talks with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) about the vacant managerial position. The 61-year-old is believed to want Keane to come on as his assistant manager should he take the role.

Keane managed the Black Cats from 2006 to 2008, and also was at the helm of Ipswich Town between 2009 and 2011, and is said to be looking for a return to management.

In September, the Corkman backed O'Neill to replace Giovanni Trapattoni, telling reporters he believed that the Derryman would be a wise selection. "I know a little bit about Martin O'Neill and I think Martin would be a very, very good choice," Keane said.

"I think the FAI have done the right thing in stepping back, taking their time and seeing what is out there. A lot of managers have been linked with it. A lot of good managers."

At the time, Keane was coy on the possibility of taking over, claiming that the FAI had not been in touch with him. "I haven't been contacted by anyone," said Keane. "I have not thought about it too much to be honest with you. I have more important things to be worried about."

However, speculation is rife that Keane will become number two to the man who was Sunderland manager from 2011 to 2013 following spells at Leicester City, Celtic, and Aston Villa.

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