Steve Bruce has ruled out making a move to take Roy Keane to Birmingham City - but Bryan Robson has reaffirmed his desire to take the Republic of Ireland international to West Bromwich Albion.
Keane left Manchester United by mutual agreement last week and has been linked with just about every top-flight club in Europe. But the list is narrowing. Italian pair Juventus and AS Roma are not interested, and neither are Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
The favourites appear to be Celtic, Manchester City, Everton, and Portsmouth, although Aston Villa have also been mentioned.
Bruce and Robson played alongside Keane for United during the early Nineties. The player would command wages of more than #30,000 a week, which would not necessarily be a problem, given that Keane would guarantee sell- out crowds at The Hawthorns.
Bruce is confident that Keane still has plenty to offer as a player after 12 years with United and believes he will be "missed" by the Red Devils. But he will not be making a move, despite City's current bottom two Premiership placing.
Bruce said: "I think he has still got something left as a player. I know him well. I wouldn't be surprised if something is already sorted. Will we be trying to sign him? No, I think we can rule that one out, that's for sure.
"Like everything, all good things do come to an end and I was shocked as everyone else by the timing of Roy's departure.
"Roy Keane will go down as part of Man United's history, one of the great players. They have been associated with great players and I don't think many have served as well as Roy over 12 years.
"He has been a wonderful player, a wonderful leader, a great captain. I am sure he will be missed.
"Everyone knows him as a fantastic footballer but it is very rare that you get genuine leaders who lead and take people with them. He epitomised everything you would want in a captain."
Bruce was faced with a similar situation to Keane when his glory days at United came to an end and he chose to play on for a further two years at Birmingham before moving into management.
He said: "You have to realise 'it's gone'. I was at United for ten years and I enjoyed playing two years at Birmingham. I had got to the twilight of my career at 36, felt I had a great innings and was determined to enjoy my two years at Birmingham.
"I think Roy enjoys the game so much that it will not be too long before he is back - whether he comes back into management or as a player."
Robson, meanwhile, has reaffirmed his desire to bring Keane to Albion.
Robson said: "Every Premier League manager would have an interest in Roy Keane - but Roy is the only one who will make a decision on what he wants to do.
"I have tried to phone Roy but all I kept getting was his answer machine. If he wants to come to West Brom, I will try to make it happen with the chairman [ Jeremy Peace]."
Three days after jettisoning his captain, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson still refuses to hint at the cause of the split.
While Keane has temporarily been reduced to walking his dog Triggs round the Cheshire countryside and the debate rumbles on, it is clearly yesterday's news to Ferguson.
Twelve years of sterling service - including seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a European Cup - has been reduced to just two paragraphs in Ferguson's programme notes ahead of tonight's Champions League match at home to Villarreal.
An attempt to lure from Ferguson's lips the precise reason behind Keane's departure was met with a cursory 'nice try' by the Glaswegian, although he did inadvertently hint the man who used to be his talisman had outlived his usefulness.
"When you have managed this club for a long time, the horrible part of the job is that you see great players getting older," he said.
"You have to make changes quicker than other clubs because the demands of our club are great.
"When we make moves it is not for any reason other than to make this club better and keep us at the top."
Ferguson does not fear a fan backlash at Old Trafford, having heard his own name chanted along with that of his departed skipper at Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
"I am not worried about a negative reaction from the fans," he said. "One of the great qualities Manchester United supporters have is that they do not just refer to today, it is about the whole history of our club."