ITV's FA Cup coverage of Manchester United vs Middlesborough didn't wait around long to put Roy Keane in the hot seat.
After the opening montage, the camera panned to the studio of Ian Wright and Keane with presenter Mark Pougatch addressing the elephant in the room.
"Lots of speculation linking you with the Sunderland job, lots of speculation. Indeed you've been there today. What can you tell us?" Pougatch asked.
"Well, I've got no control over that," Keane answered. "So eh, no Comment." Ian Wright cleared the tension then by bursting into laughter at Keane's tight-lipped nature.
🗣 “Roy, there’s been lots of speculation linking you with the Sunderland job… what can you tell us?”
“Are we losing you, or what’s going on? You can’t just leave me like that!” 😨
Keep watching for some classic @IanWright0 🤣#SAFC pic.twitter.com/6ILmP4EGqZ
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) February 4, 2022
"As much as you enjoy sitting here," Pougatch expanded. "You would like to get back into management, into coaching?"
"I've made that clear over the last few years," Keane responded. "I'd like to go back as a manager. But of course, a club has to want you, you have to want to go to that club."
"And just as important, the contract's got to be right. Listen, we'll see how things take shape over the next few days." Keane didn't give away much.
Ian Wright, the perfect sidekick to Keane's stern nature, seemed to be a bit taken back by it all. "Are we losing you?" he asked his ITV colleague.
"You'd survive Wrighty wouldn't you? You'd survive without me?" Keane joked. "I don't think I would, I can't even lie. But I wish you all the best," said Wright.
Keane's Sunderland Return
On Wednesday, The Daily Mail broke the story that Sunderland had approached Roy Keane over the vacant manager's position at the Stadium of Light.
It followed the sacking of Lee Johnson after a disappointing 6-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers over the weekend. Reports suggest Keane is a leading candidate for the job.
Apparently, Keane has 'strong support from within the club' and 'is seen as the type of character they need to reignite their League One promotion push.'
Sunderland are third in League One and have spent life in England's third tier since 2018. It's an interesting approach given that Keane previously managed Sunderland.
His first managerial role came in 2006 as he guided the Black Cats to a Championship title. Sunderland narrowly avoided the drop in his first season in the top flight.
A run of poor form in his second Premier League season led to Keane stepping down. He cited differences with owner Ellis Short at the time.