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in the frame Roy Keane faces competition in the race to be named as Sunderland manager

Sunderland sacked Lee Johnson after last Saturday's humiliating 6-0 defeat against Bolton, with Keane believed to be a candidate to take over.

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Roy Keane last worked with Martin O'Neill at Nottingham Forest. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Roy Keane last worked with Martin O'Neill at Nottingham Forest. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Roy Keane last worked with Martin O'Neill at Nottingham Forest. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Roy Keane could be eyeing up a shock return to management after he emerged as a leading contender to return to Sunderland, but it seems there are also other names in the frame for the job.

Sunderland sacked Lee Johnson after last Saturday's humiliating 6-0 defeat against Bolton, with Keane believed to be a candidate the club's owners want to talk to.

Yet it appears Grant McCann is also a contender for the Sunderland job, after he was recently relieved of his duties at Hull City.

McCann led Hull to promotion from League One last season and that is the prize Sunderland are chasing in the same division this season.

Former Preston and Norwich manager Alex Neil was a strong favourite to land the role until the Keane rumours emerged on Wednesday afternoon, with Sunderland fans seemingly excited by the prospect of the Irishman returning to the club.

Keane was successful in leading Sunderland to Premier League promotion in 2007, but he has been out of frontline management since being sacked by Ipswich in January 2011.

He has suggested he does not expect to get another chance in management due to his explosive reputation, but the 50-year-old currently working at Sky Sports has suggested time and again that he would like another crack at coaching.

Sunderland are keen to appoint a new manager imminently, with reports suggesting Keane is open to a return to the club, even though that would mean he would end his lucrative career as a pundit with Sky Sports and ITV Sport.

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