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Last Updated: Friday November 18 2005 18:00 GMT

Keane in shock exit from Man Utd

Roy Keane
Manchester United captain Roy Keane has left the club.

The club confirmed that Keane, 34, has left with immediate effect, after playing for United for over 12 years.

Last month Keane gave MUTV an interview where he criticised some of the players on his team, following United's 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough.

Although the interview was never shown, it is thought to have been one of the reasons for the midfielder's departure from Old Trafford.

After the shock announcement Roy Keane played tribute to his former club and its fans: "It has been a great honour and privilege for me to play for Manchester United for over 12 years.

"Whilst it is a sad day for me to leave such a great club and manager I believe that the time has now come for me to move on. After so many years, I will miss everyone at the club."

'Best midfielder of his generation'

Roy Keane
United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "Roy Keane has been a fantastic servant for Manchester United.

"The best midfield player in the world of his generation, he is already one of the great figures in our club's illustrious history.

"Roy has been central to the success of the club in the last 12-and-a-half years and everyone at Old Trafford wishes him well in the rest of his career and beyond."

Keane was released from his contract so will be allowed to sign for another club whenever he wants.

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