(REUTERS) - Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane has said he wants to return to club football management after next year's European Championship in France and will sit down with his boss, Martin O'Neill, to discuss his future in the coming weeks.
Ireland beat Bosnia on Monday to qualify for their second successive European finals, and O'Neill hailed Keane's importance to the team after the game, describing the former Manchester United midfielder as "an iconic figure that polarises opinion, but not in the dressing room".
Keane's walkout on the eve of the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, where he famously compared the team's training ground to a car park, has gone down in Irish folklore, and O'Neill has admitted that allowing him to return to the fold was one of his biggest decisions as boss.
The Times quoted Keane to have said: "I'm going to meet Martin over the next couple of weeks. He knows that I still have that ambition to get back into club management."
The former Ireland captain has managed at Sunderland and Ipswich Town. Sunderland were 23rd in the Championship when Keane took charge of the club shortly after hanging up his boots as a player.
He secured promotion to the Premier League in his first season in charge, but resigned in his second season as a Premiership manager with the club in the relegation zone.
"I'm planning to meet the manager just to have a chat, to see where he stands, but I think that Martin knows I have that ambition to get back in the ring," Keane said.
"Will this get me back in the window? I don't know, but I'm loving my role with Ireland. It's been everything I hoped it would be and I've been learning a lot from Martin.
"I'm not really one for networking or applying for jobs, but I'm enjoying my role here. I certainly want to stay on for the Euros, then we'll play it by ear," he added.