Ex-Sunderland manager will 'hold talks' over shock move to replace former Leeds United & Liverpool star

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One of Sunderland’s former managers is reportedly being eyed by a club from the Israeli Premier League

Former Sunderland manager Michael Beale could be back in the dugout soon with reports he is set to hold talks with Maccabi Tel Aviv about their managerial vacancy.

The Israeli Premier League side are on the hunt for their next boss after former Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker Robbie Keane left his role with the club last week. The 43-year-old from Dublin was appointed in June 2023 but left 12 months into a two-year deal. The former Republic of Ireland international had been the subject of criticism for accepting the position in Israel but insisted he didn’t want to "get into politics" and that he took on the role as "a football man".

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He had guided the club to the league title last season and into the last 16 of the Europa Conference League.

"I want to thank the owners, all the players, the coaches, and the fans for making this season unforgettable," said Keane as his departure was announced. "I am very proud of everything we achieved together as a team and especially proud of the hard work and the dedication that led to winning the championship and the Toto Cup. I wish everyone involved in the club the best of luck in the Champions League and the upcoming season."

According to reports relayed by Glasgow World, Beale is one of the leading contenders to replace Keane after being sacked from his post at the Stadium of Light just 12 games into his tenure. The 43-year-old signed a two-and-a-half-year deal in the north east but was an unpopular choice to replace Tony Mowbray. He was also sacked by Rangers last season, as the Ibrox club slipped seven points adrift of fierce rivals Celtic just seven games into the Scottish Premiership campaign.

His appointment at Sunderland raised eyebrows, given his ill-fated stint in Glasgow, as he lost half of his matches in charge of the Black Cats. After leaving Sunderland, Beale stated in February: "I am disappointed to have left Sunderland AFC after a short time at the club. I would like to say a big thank you to the players who were excellent to work with. The squad has a lot of potential and I will follow their progress with great interest in the coming weeks and months.

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"I would also like to extend my thanks to all the staff, both at the training ground and Stadium of Light, for the quality of their work, as well as their friendship. The communication with Kyril, Kristjaan and the board was always open and honest, and I would like to place on record my sincerest thanks for their support during a tough period personally.

"To the fans - I would like to thank you for the support shown to me and my family during the recent game against Plymouth Argyle. In this gesture, you showed huge empathy and warmth and that is something I will never forget. I wish everyone associated with Sunderland AFC all the very best for the future."

The Black Cats are still seeking a replacement for Beale, with the club putting Mike Dodds in interim charge to allow time to find a successor. However, they have been dealt set-backs in recent weeks with target Will Still joining RC Lens while most recently it was reported candidate Liam Rosenior was unlikely to take the job.

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