Robbie Keane has confirmed that he has been asked to be assistant manager at Middlesbrough, according to journalist Neil O’Riordan.
Middlesbrough have been looking for a new manager for over three weeks now, since the club decided not to renew Tony Pulis’ contract, after he failed to guide the team to promotion from the Championship last season.
The Sun reported yesterday that Jonathan Woodgate is the favourite for the role, after impressing as a first-team coach under Pulis last season and that he is considering asking his former Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur teammate Keane to assist him.
O’Riordan, chief sports writer at The Irish Sun, has revealed that these reports are true and that Keane has met with Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson to discuss the role.
Confirms he met with Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson yesterday and that job excites him but he hasn’t discussed it with his family yet.
— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) June 12, 2019
Keane is currently one of Mick McCarthy’s assistants for the Republic of Ireland, but becoming assistant manager at the Riverside will not affect his involvement with the national team.
The 38-year-old is excited by the role and is expected to make a decision within the next few days, after he has discussed it with his family.
Middlesbrough finished seventh in the Championship table last season, one point outside the play-off places, despite spending most of the season inside the top six.
It now seems only a matter of time before Middlesbrough announce Woodgate as their new manager and he could be a good appointment for them.
He has obviously impressed Gibson with his long-term vision for the football club and already knows the players well after working as a first-team coach under Pulis last season.
He has no experience of being a manager though, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the step up, but bringing in someone like Keane to assist him seems like a smart decision.