Roy Keane in running as Aston Villa axe manager Lambert
Roy Keane's prospects of returning to club management improved dramatically last night when Aston Villa decided to sack Paul Lambert.
Having worked at the club this season as Lambert's assistant, before he unexpectedly resigned in November, Keane is in the running to replace his former boss.
With his contract with the FAI due to expire at the end of this European Championship campaign, compensation will not be a problem.
However, the issue of dressing-room dissent may be. After resigning, Keane was criticised by an unnamed Villa player who claimed he cut an unpopular figure among the squad.
Yet among the club's hierarchy, he is held in much higher regard and their view of Keane's candidacy has not been affected by his sudden departure from the club two months ago.
An offer would undoubtedly appeal to Keane as well, who has his heart set on a return to management, even though he turned down the opportunity to manage Celtic last summer.
However, Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is not in the running. The sudden nature of his departure from Villa Park in 2010 still does not sit well with the club's hierarchy.