By Democrat reporter
Controversial football figure Roy Keane has what it takes to be Celtic manager, according to the Parkhead club’s former boss Martin O’Neill.
BBC Scotland reported today that Keane, 49, has been strongly linked with the post vacated by Neil Lennon last month.
And the former Manchester United midfielder has “learned a great deal” about management, says O’Neill, who won seven trophies in charge of Celtic between 2000 and 2005.
“He’s got the personality for a start,” O’Neill, pictured left, told BBC Scotland Sportsound.
“He was a massive player, an iconic figure in the game, one of the best midfield players in the modern day Premier League. He led and cajoled Manchester United on for almost a decade.
“He’s very strong-willed, and I know people then start to feel strong-willed people do not necessarily change or adapt. He has certainly got the capacity to do that – to motivate players, absolutely.
“I worked with him at close hand. Sometimes in this game you get a reputation and that supersedes anything that you’re trying to do. Roy Keane has learned a great deal in the intervening years.
“He was my assistant at Ireland and I know that’s a totally different job, but has Roy Keane got the personality to manage at the very top? Absolutely.”
Keane made 13 appearances as a player for Celtic under Gordon Strachan as he brought his playing career to a close in 2005-06.
He had spells managing Sunderland and Ipswich – who he departed in 2011 – with his most recent coaching stints as assistant manager at Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
He claims he was previously offered the Celtic job in 2014, but was “unimpressed” by the offer made.
O’Neill said: “I think the Celtic fans would know exactly what they would be getting if Roy Keane was interested and had a chance of getting the job. Both of those things I do not know.”
Former PR boss at Chivas in Dumbarton, Dominic McKay, is waiting in the wings to take up his appointment at Celtic FC and it is certain that the directors and chairman Dermott Desmond will want to have his views on the person who will be taking over as club chief executive.
Dominic McKay, the new Celtic FC chief executive, who will be involved in the appointment of a new manager at Parkhead.