The Champions League and World Cup-winning manager was a huge fan of United’s cult icon in midfield.
Former Juventus and Italy manager Marcello Lippi claims the Old Lady were pursuing the Irishman during his tenure at Manchester United and almost got their man but ultimately failed.
Considered an influential and strong figure in the dressing room during his time at Old Trafford, Keane’s commanding presence in midfield was a key strength in United’s armoury.
It was his energy and combative spirit that then Juve coach Lippi wanted to imbibe and include in his squad and admitted that the club made several attempts to lure the hard-tackling midfielder to Turin.
“I loved (Roy) Keane, he was very close to moving to Juventus but then failed to negotiate,” he said. “I loved (Paul) Scholes too; he would’ve loved it here and played.”
Despite staying on to win much more silverware at United, Keane did admit his inclination towards playing abroad.
He was pursued by Juventus and Bayern Munich but ultimately decided to stay at the club where he won seven Premier League titles and the historic treble in 1999. He instead left for Celtic in 2005 where he finished his career a year later.
When asked on his desire, he said, “I wouldn’t say I had regrets about not going abroad but I think it would have been a nice experience to play for a different team. When my contract ran down on a couple of occasions, I spoke to a couple of clubs, Bayern Munich, Juventus. And yeah I was very tempted I have to say, but there was a bit of fear.”
Despite Lippi’s approval of interest there still remains no clue is found as to at what point in time where Juve and the manager were interested in the midfielder’s services.
The 71-year old Italian also made good mention of United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer stating “(Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer was very good as a player and I hope he will do very well as a coach, he deserves it.”
Lippi went on to win the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006 and lead Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande to three CSL titles and the AFC Champions League title in 2013. He is currently the head coach of the Chinese national football team.