Roy Keane has given his first public comments over the rumours linking him with the Sunderland vacancy.
The former Republic of Ireland captain was speaking in his current capacity of TV pundit ahead of Manchester United's FA Cup 4th round tie with Middlesbrough.
Keane reportedly held talks on Friday with Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman, with the Corkman the frontrunner to replace Lee Johnson.
The Mackems sacked Johnson following last week's 6-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Asked by ITV host Mark Pougatch about the Sunderland rumours, Keane replied, "Well I've got no control over that, so no comment."
Pressed about his desire to return to management, the 50-year old said, "Yeah, I've made that clear over the last few years.
🗣 “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
"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."
Keane couldn't help but crack a smile when he told Pougatch, "Listen, we'll see how things take shape over the next few days."
Ex-Hull City manager Grant McCann is also believed to be a contender for the Sunderland job, along with former Nottingham Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi.
Fellow pundit Ian Wright then chimed in, asking, "Are we losing you, or what's going on?"
Keane: "You'd survive, Wrighty, wouldn't you? Would you survive without me?"
Wright: "I don't think I would, I can't even lie. But, you know, I wish you all the best."
Keane: "I'll stay then."
Sunderland take on Doncaster on Saturday, with Mike Dodds and Mike Proctor in temporary charge.