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Roy Keane hits back at Micah Richards after "joke" that he could be interim Man United boss

Roy Keane keen to get back into management (Nick Potts/PA)

Roy Keane keen to get back into management (Nick Potts/PA)

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane was mentioned as a possible candidate to take over as Manchester United interim manager until the end of the season, yet the club's former skipper has insisted that opportunity was never going to come his way.

In a feisty conversation with his Sky Sports colleague Micah Richards, former Ireland captain Keane questioned why the prospect of him taking over at Old Trafford was "a joke", as he insisted he could have done the job.

Yet he is aware that big managerial opportunities may not come his way due to his reputation for falling out with players.

Richards said he joked on Sky Sports that Keane should get the United job and that comment sparked a moment of annoyance in the Irishman.

"Why would that be a joke? You said something about me falling out with players, but that is what managers do," said Keane.

"Why jump to these conclusions? As a manager you are meant to challenge people. Managers do that.

"Obviously you can't fall out with everyone, but there is no doubt in my mind that, and I don't mean at Man United.... I have managed in the Premier League."

Richard suggested the "joke" for Keane would be trying to get David De Gea and Harry Maguire onside after being highly critical of the duo in his role on Sky, but he has a quick answer to that.

"The first thing that I'd do when I'd walk into the club would be to grab hold of those two and say: 'I have been really critical of the two of you, prove me wrong'," he stated.

"That is the end of the conversation. If they get upset, no problem. Players get upset all the time. It is not about players liking the manager. The most important thing is that you hope the players will respect the manager."

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Keane also suggested Pep Guardiola's Manchester City are title favourites heading into 2022, as he claimed he has learned a lesson after he suggested they would not win the title last season.

"I didn't write off City (last season), but I said they lost their mojo," he added. "Then they won the league like a doddle. I know they put in the hard work, but they won it from United being second. I'd never bet against City, I've learned my lesson from last year.

"It doesn't mean Liverpool and Chelsea can't pip them to the title, but Pep's the man. When I look at all the managers and he's the best.

"You look at Pep's CV and people say 'he's got the best players', but you still have to manage them, find a style of play. If you were going to pick a team to watch, it'd be Man City."

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