Paul Ince believes that his former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane still has a chance of managing the club one day.
And Ince (above) thinks that his old midfield partner's decision to become assistant to Martin O'Neill with Ireland only makes sense if he is being groomed for the top job, even though he reckons that the Corkman's desire is to work again in the club sphere.
"I speak to Roy and he does want to get back in but he does want to get back in at the right establishment, with the right project," said Ince yesterday.
"Roy Keane is not a number two, Roy Keane is a leader of men. He wants to lead a team so I'd say to him that if the right thing comes along then I'm sure he will get back into it. You cannot lose people like him from the game.
"Maybe he thinks that when Martin's done, then he's the next one to step up. That's the logic I see in it.
"Whether Keaney can do that, well, Keaney is one of those people whom I think needs to be in football day to day. But it would be fantastic if he was Ireland manager, would it not?"
Ince, who believes that his best pal Ryan Giggs needs to cut his managerial teeth elsewhere before he is ready to the graduate to the top job at Old Trafford, still thinks that Keane has the character to return to the arena where he enjoyed so much success.
"I can (see that), I can," he said. "To be Man United manager you need broad shoulders and be able to take a lot of criticism. Roy has broad shoulders and he is mentally tough.
"Things don't affect him. He has a poker face but he doesn't show if things are affecting him. He is mentally tough and there is no reason why Roy couldn't go back to Manchester United.
"I think you have got to remember what Keaney did when he went to Sunderland when they were in the Championship, taking them into the Premier League. That was an unbelievable feat."