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Villa 'totally refute' rumours of Keane bust-up with senior player

Aston Villa has denied speculation that Roy Keane left his role as assistant manager at the club following a training ground altercation yesterday.

Keane quit his role with the Premier League club with immediate effect this morning, saying that he was unable to commit fully to his assistant roles with the Midlands club and Ireland.

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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane. Martin O'Neill will be filly briefed on Jack Grealish's progress at Villa given the presence of his assistant Roy Keane as number two to Lambert (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane. Martin O'Neill will be filly briefed on Jack Grealish's progress at Villa given the presence of his assistant Roy Keane as number two to Lambert (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane. Martin O'Neill will be filly briefed on Jack Grealish's progress at Villa given the presence of his assistant Roy Keane as number two to Lambert (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

"Ultimately, my roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have become too much," he said.

"It isn't fair to either Villa or Ireland, so I've made this decision.

Rumours quickly began to spread that the former Manchester United captain was involved in a training ground bust-up with a senior player, but this was vigorously denied by the club.

Keane took no part in training today and Sky Sports reporter Pete Colley, who was at the ground covering the dramatic news, says the club has responded to the claims of an incident with a player.

"The rumours that came out straight away were that there had been a bust-up in training yesterday with a senior player," he told Sky Sports News.

"The club totally refutes that suggestion, but these rumours emanated within about half an hour of this statement coming out so you read into that what you will," he added.

Earlier Darren Bent added that Keane had been nothing but a positive influence since he joined the club four months ago.

Squad Respect

“I think he got on with the players. I think what people most respected about him is that he told it as it was, to be fair,” Bent told Sky Sports News as he made a loan move to Brighton.

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“And if you weren’t playing well he would tell you. He wouldn’t hide from the fact and yeah as I said personally he was fantastic for me. I had a lot of contact with him on different aspects of the game and I’m sorry to see him go

Villa manager Paul Lambert said that he "totally respected" the decision made by Keane.

 

 "Roy came to me this morning and he informed me that, ultimately, the difficulty of combining both roles has prompted his decision, which I respect totally.

"In the brief period we have worked together he has been great in the role and I understand his reasons for leaving."

CEO Tom Fox added: “We thank Roy for his time at the Club and we wish him the best with Ireland.

Villa Focus

“Our focus now will be on working with Paul to identify the right person to work alongside him and to help us continue on our journey to return the Club to its rightful place in the Premier League.”

The 43-year-old had been splitting his time between Villa and his job as Martin O'Neill's number two with the Republic of Ireland.

Keane joined up with Lambert in July after snubbing an approach from Celtic for the vacant managerial role at Celtic Park.

At the time Keane said he would have no problem combining both the Villa and Ireland roles.

He said at the time: "I am looking forward to linking up with Paul Lambert at Aston Villa and thank Martin and the FAI for giving me the opportunity to do so.

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Roy Keane answers questions during a press conference yesterday

Roy Keane answers questions during a press conference yesterday

Roy Keane answers questions during a press conference yesterday

 

"I remain totally committed to my job with the Republic of Ireland and all that it involves.

"This agreement promises to be an exciting challenge and will give me an opportunity to continue developing my coaching skills on a daily basis that should ultimately benefit everyone."

Paddy Power has placed a price of 6/4 that Keane's next move is to take over from O'Neill. Not surprisingly the Villa role is the next on the list at 3/1 with Paul Lambert struggling to get the most out of his Villa side this term

His former clubs Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United are the nest three on the list, with Rangers the 100/1 outside shot.

"I'd like to thank Paul for giving me a great opportunity to come to a brilliant football club, I've really enjoyed my experiences at Villa and I wish the management team, the players, the supporters and the Club nothing but the best going forward," Keane added in his statement.


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