Azerbaijani FA say Roy Keane is a candidate for manager’s job

Two sides are believed to have had preliminary talks about the 48-year-old taking the job

The Azerbaijani FA has told local media that Roy Keane is one of the candidates being considered to replace Nikola Jurcevic as national coach. The connection was reported overnight in the British media.

The two sides are said to have had preliminary talks but the association is said to have dismissed any suggestion that the 48-year-old Irishman has been offered the job or tops a wanted list, saying instead that he is one of a number of candidates under consideration.

It is not clear how serious either side is about the prospect of the former Sunderland and Ipswich boss taking on the role.

Keane has repeatedly indicated a desire to get back into management or coaching but it is far from certain that he would see himself as a good fit for Azerbaijan or that he would be attracted by the fact that the bulk of the squad is based locally.

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The weakness of the team is illustrated by the fact it took just one point in its Euro 2020 qualifying group campaign and it is currently working towards Nations League games against Luxembourg and Cyprus in September with Montenegro also in their four team group.

Eight years ago Keane pulled out of the running for a club job in Turkey citing family reasons and he spent much of the time since as assistant to then Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill while there have been brief spells working with Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, also as assistant manager.

Despite his part in the initial success achieved with Ireland under O’Neill, his prospects of landing a promising managerial role in Britain have not seemed good since, due to ongoing questions regarding his temperament and ability to work well with players.

The reputation of the former Manchester United star was damaged again recently, it seemed, by criticism of his attitude towards prominent players at his former club in the course of television work.

The Azerbaijan association is reported to be looking to make an appointment within a matter of days.