Former Manchester United captain and current Nottingham Forest assistant manager Roy Keane has departed the club with immediate effect, Forest announced on Sunday.
While the official team release did not give a reason for his departure, The Telegraph reports that Keane is on the hunt for his own managerial position and has decided to activate an opt-out clause in his contract that allows him to leave this summer.
The 47-year-old apparently “spent weeks mulling over the decision” according to the report, and has decided that the time is right for him to seek out his first managerial spot since departing Ipswich Town in 2011. Keane has been Martin O’Neill’s right-hand man since joining his Republic of Ireland staff in 2013 where the two came within a playoff loss to Denmark of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. He followed O’Neill to Nottingham Forest in March where the two helped lead the club to a ninth-placed finish.
The Telegraph report states the departure from the club was “amicable” and that O’Neill had even apparently hoped Keane would make this decision as he believes the formeer Manchester United midfielder deserves his own job.
“Working with Martin over the last few years has been a magnificent experience, one of my greatest in football both as a player and a coach and one I want to personally thank him for,” Keane said as part of the club release.
Keane has Premier League managerial experience, having led Sunderland to promotion in 2008, but was forced to step down the following campaign with the club sitting 18th in the Premier League table in November and strains with both the players and club ownership putting pressure on his position.