Manchester United

Roy Keane explains why he slammed Harry Maguire after "bullying" claims emerge

Keane defended his reasons for slamming Maguire after goal celebration
Keane defended his reasons for slamming Maguire after goal celebration / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Roy Keane has brushed off claims he has an agenda against Harry Maguire after he slammed the Manchester United captain earlier this month.

Keane hit out at Maguire for his "fingers in ears" goal celebration during England's 5-0 win over Albania. The celebration was interpreted as Maguire trying to "silence the critics" following his poor performances for the Red Devils in recent weeks.

Keane was less than impressed with Maguire's celebration, considering the defender has struggled for United so far this season. Former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor accused Keane of "bullying" Maguire, but the former Red Devil has dismissed the accusation, and insisted he has no agenda against the defender.

Speaking about his punditry style, he told The Times: "I actually think 95 per cent of my punditry is positive. I have been critical of some players over the last year or two if they've been playing badly or not doing their jobs. People don't mind that.

"Then you criticise a Maguire or a [Harry] Kane, and it's, 'Ah, that's not acceptable.'

"So it's OK if I slag off the Tottenham right-back, no one mentions him. But you can't be saying that about Harry. Why not? Did you not see the game?"

Keane went on to claim that his comments about Maguire aren't an indication of a vendetta against him, but are purely performance related.

"I'm trying to be honest. I don't mind a player not being good, but don't be so bad," the Irishman added. "Maguire said players can have a drop-off after being involved in Euros. [Declan] Rice hasn't had a drop-off.

"Players can have a drop-off but don't go from there to here. I've got no agendas. I don't know Harry Maguire. I don't know his agent. I don't know anyone's agent. I don't have an agent."