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Roker Roundup: Keano off to Azerbaijan? Ex-Sunderland academy winger signs for new UAE side

Whilst a former Sunderland academy winger has agreed to sign for a newly-formed club in the United Arab Emirates, ex-SAFC boss Roy Keane is in talks to become the Azerbaijan national team manager.

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Keane in talks for international return

Former Sunderland manager Roy Keane could be set for a return to international management with reports claiming that he is in talks with Azerbaijan to become their new head coach.

Keane was formerly assistant manager to Martin O’Neill with Ireland but then followed his fellow ex-Sunderland manager to Nottingham Forest but has been out of football since leaving the City Ground last year.

In a statement, the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) say that Keane is one of a number of candidates being considered for the role:

Along with several other candidates, Roy Keane is on the list of the specialists negotiated by AFFA for the appointment for the position of the head coach of the Azerbaijan national team.

As we reported earlier, taking into account the current situation and the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic around the world, it has not yet been possible to submit any candidate to the Executive Committee for discussion and finalise the terms of the contract.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Cape Verde captain on Sunderland blow

The captain of the Cape Verde international team, Marco Soares, has been talking to the Portuguese Footballers’ Union (SJPF) about his career.

The 36-year-old currently plays for Arouca in the Portuguese second division but told the SJPF about a time that he was set to sign for Sunderland before injury struck.

In 2010, the midfielder was playing for União de Leiria in a Primeira Liga game against Sporting, when he fractured his tibia taking a shot late on in the game.

Soares explains how he was all set to sign for then Premier League Sunderland before the injury kept him out of action for 14 months:

When I broke my leg, in the game against Sporting, the game was almost over in the 86th minute.

At that time, it was one of my best seasons and I had pretty much everything set to go to England, to the Premier League, to Sunderland.

I broke my leg, I stopped [playing for] 14 months, I had to have three operations, I thought I would not play football again.

For me, that was a great achievement.

FBL-AFR-2013-NIGERIA-CAPE-VERDE-FRIENDLY Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP via Getty Images

Academy product heads to the Emirates

Sunderland academy product Rees Greenwood has joined United Arab Emirates side Al Sahel subject to a medical.

The former England youth international will join the newly formed club who will start out in the third tier of the UAE league.

Former Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle United, Hartlepool United and Northern Ireland midfielder David McCreery was recently appointed vice president of Al Sahel, and he recently spoke of his wish to bring in players from the United Kingdom, telling Belfast Live:

At present we are focusing on the recruitment of players from all over the world - Brazil, Africa but also players currently plying their trade in the United Kingdom.

Greenwood left Sunderland in 2018, after making just one appearance for the club, in a 2-2 away draw at Watford on the final day of the 2015-16 season. He has since featured for Gateshead, Falkirk, Spennymoor Town and West Auckland Town.

Bury v Sunderland - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images