The 50-year-old is better known for his television punditry these days after spells in charge of Sunderland and Ipswich Town and stints as assistant manager with Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, and the Republic of Ireland national team.
But, says the Sunday Times, the ex-Manchester United and Celtic player harbours a desire to manage in his own right again and has discussed the Easter Road vacancy with his friends, although the cut-throat nature of Jack Ross and Shaun Maloney’s exits could give him pause for thought.
Keane led Sunderland from the depths of the Championship to the Premier League but left in December 2008, citing differences with the Black Cats hierarchy but he was close to a return to the Stadium of Light prior to Alex Neil’s appointment in February this year.
Hibs are on the lookout for a 16th permanent manager since the turn of the millennium, with Maloney relieved of his duties last week after just four months at the helm.
Discussing the decision, Hibs owner Ron Gordon said: “We had a very thorough and open conversation about the options, and the board was very decisive in its view that we needed to make the change. That gave us the best possibility of turning things around and moving in the right direction.
“By making the change we did it gives us the biggest window to prepare for next season and get a manager in time for pre-season on June 18.
‘Last time I think we made a decision quickly. This time we are going to give ourselves a little more time.”