Keane considers his options after talks with Kasimpasa
ROY KEANE appeared to be mulling over his options last night after being shown around the facilities of Turkish Super League club Kasimpasa and holding talks with board members over the possibility of becoming the next manager.
The 41-year-old arrived in Istanbul on Monday night for the talks which began early yesterday morning, but sources close to the Corkman said yesterday afternoon that it was still far too early to say whether a deal would be concluded.
The club’s new backers include shipping billionaire Mubariz Gurbanoglu, a former member of the Soviet intelligence service who already owns a club in his native Azerbaijan and was previously involved with Besiktas.
They want Keane to oversee what they hope will be a transformation of a side that has bounced between Turkey’s top two divisions regularly over the last five years, during which time eight managers have come and gone.
Keane would be expected to seek very significant guarantees regarding the extent to which they will back him financially before embarking on a risky venture for a manager who hasn’t enjoyed any real success in a dugout since guiding Sunderland to promotion during his first season in charge.
To date, the likes of Kalu Uche, Kafoumba Coulibaly, Fabian Ernst and Andreas Isaksson – internationals with Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Germany and Sweden respectively – have arrived and the side have made a strong start to the new campaign with a win at the weekend leaving them second behind Galatasaray. The board’s desire to see the club push on under a big name coach, however, still cost previous boss Metin Diyadin his job; the third time the Turk had parted company with a side he had guided to promotion the previous season.
While talks with Kasimpasa are ongoing Keane continues to be linked with the vacancy at Blackburn Rovers although it is understood the club is not actively considering the Irishman at the moment.
On the face of it, a stint at Ewood Park would appear to be more up the street of a man who has never previously worked outside Britain and Ireland although the fate endured by Steve Kean from the time he was installed as Sam Allardyce’s replacement might well make the Corkman think twice.
Similarly, the fact Keane was on poor terms with the owners at both Sunderland and Ipswich by the time he left those clubs – despite the fact Ellis Short and Marcus Evans were far less interventionist than the Indians who run Rovers – might also give them pause for thought if they really are tempted to hire him.
It is certainly hard to imagine Keane being asked to do chicken adverts, as the players previously had to, or being told he would be expected to spend a couple of days each month travelling to and from the family estate on the hills outside Pune in western India to provide updates to Anuradha Desai, widely regarded as the driving force behind the Vencky’s business empire.
Desai was open about the fact she had never watched a single football match prior to the family-owned firm taking over Rovers in a deal worth more than €50 million but it certainly didn’t prevent her making some big calls in relation to the club.
She is regarded as a very capable businesswoman, and perhaps a shift in expectations might provide the basis for a working relationship. However it is hard to imagine Keane getting even as far as serious discussions on the subject if Blackburn’s initial recruitment process is to be run by their “global adviser” Serbegeth “Shebby” Singh. The 52-year-old Malaysian would not, on the basis of his own footballing CV, want to get into a bout of “show us your medals,” with the former Manchester United skipper.
Ultimately, neither job looks like the sort of thing Keane would have been hoping for when he embarked on his career in management but, after almost two years without an attractive offer, the Irishman clearly doesn’t have the greatest of options.