Date: 18th November 2005 at 1:11pm
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Manchester United captain Roy Keane has departed Old Trafford ‘by mutual consent’.

The 34 year old United legend had already indicated that he didn’t think he would be offered a new contract at the end of the season and raised more than a few eyebrows recently with a frank and honest interview laying into several fellow team mates. The now ‘infamous’ interview was pulled and has never seen the light of day.

Reports have suggested he would be given a £5million testimonial at the end of this season. It is unclear at the moment whether that testimonial might still take place and form part of his severance deal.

Keane is a firm favourite with the fans and there is bound to be very mixed feelings with regards to his departure, especially as some have tipped him to be a future Manchester United manager.

The players representative Michael Kennedy met with Utd’s chief executive David Gill this morning to discuss the details of Keane’s severance, then a statement was released announcing the midfielders 12 1/2 year tenure at the club had been ended with immediate effect. Keane joined Utd in 1993 from Nottingham Forest for what was then a British transfer record fee. He has been the rock in the team ever since.

The statement read: ‘Manchester United has today reached agreement with Roy Keane for Roy to leave the club with immediate effect. The agreement allows Roy to sign a long-term deal with another club to enable him to secure his playing career beyond what would have been the end of his contract at United in the summer. The club thanks Roy for his major contribution to the club during his years of service.’

Roy has been linked several times to Celtic; although with the Republic of Ireland job also open, he may well be seen as a fitting candidate.

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