If it may seem a surprise to learn that Roy Keane has been linked with a manager’s job 3,000 miles from home, it is rather less startling to discover that by most of the still-hazy accounts he was not the first choice of the Azerbaijan FA.
Which leads one to the prospect of wondering not merely would he be prepared to submit himself to a tortuously elongated round trip in order to meet with prospective employers but, more pertinently, would he even contemplate beginning such an arduous journey knowing it might potentially end in rejection?
With the Azeri FA seemingly pushing for a decision within the next 24 hours, Keane appears to be their top choice now but it remains to be seen whether the feelings of the former Ireland assistant manager have been reciprocated.
The link might seem like an odd one but, in the context of a state whose stance on human rights alone casts it amongst a motley crew of distasteful authoritarian regimes, seeking to subvert its image as an unacceptable face by making overtures to a famous face from the western world seems to make diplomatic sense.
Whether it makes sporting sense is quite another matter.
After all, it is more than nine years since Keane’s last managerial role ended in a dismissal, just as his most recent stints as an assistant to Martin O’Neill for club and country have also ended in dismal despair.
Which is probably why, then, even though the ageless Neil Warnock can still be eminently employable in Middlesbrough despite prejudices concerning both his age and style, there is little surprise that Keane, still just 48, is in danger of being permanently placed on the managerial scrapheap.
His difficulties in replicating the brief, fluttering illusions of sustained competence we first witnessed at Sunderland, when his potential in management soared but, comet-like, blew itself out, have been compounded down the years by a concoction of his own limitations and those of limited players.
At club level, he often had control of the latter aspect and yet still struggled to cope, especially at Ipswich where he made some appalling choices.
And even at international level, when he was not the one assuming ultimate authority or responsibility, he was frustrated by the imperfection of players who failed to match Keane’s supposed perfection.
Keane’s expectations were predominantly based on what his players could not do rather than what they could; and also, as someone near the camp remarked at the time, what he himself used to do as a player.
This confusion seeped into his controversial interactions with certain players which hardly need re-airing.
Suffice to say, they seemed to characterise a personality which seemed less suited to modern-day management and more redolent of the outmoded style of his first English manager, Brian Clough, to whom he and O’Neill would allude with tiring frequency.
And yet, as was mentioned here by my colleague Daniel McDonnell, Keane might have been forgiven most things had he demonstrated a genuine coaching ability but, again, the evidence of a progressive nature, or even any progression, was mostly absent.
With every fiery dismissal of the mediocre standards that some people like to fancy Keane was the first footballer in history to instigate, you wonder does all the anger, whether faux or otherwise, mask a deeper truth that the true mediocrity Keane is scared of confronting is actually his own?
The figure frothing in the TV studio is not too dissimilar to the mildly melancholic one in a Sunday newspaper interview.
Keane has spent the second act of his football career portraying profound disappointment that so many people have been unable to adapt themselves to his way of thinking and yet who knows if he himself may not just be as disappointed in his own inability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape.
For that and many other reasons, it is difficult to believe, therefore, that Keane can retain the patience required to helm one of the game’s international minnows.
Does he really fancy tackling the multiple mights of Montenegro, Cyprus, and Luxembourg when he can instead enjoy chauffeur-driven trips to a cosy TV studio to participate in the occasional box-office production that sees Roy Keane playing the role of Roy Keane?
The money may be inviting – and presumably, given his utter lack of interest in how the Middle East dovetails with soccer, the politics may not offend him either.
There may not be many more phone calls.
This may be the last of the forks in the road that are presented to Keane and it would be interesting to see him take the one less travelled.
But should he decide to make the long journey into a possible unknown, he will need to ensure that armed amongst his luggage is a sense of humility.
It is difficult to ascertain whether the Azeris are more interested in Keane the man rather than Keane the manager.
Those of us who would like him to impart even a fraction of the expertise that he demonstrated as a player would love to see him take a leap of faith and, just as Brian Kerr once did in a footballing outpost, regain his passion for teaching.
He would not, however, be the only one taking the risk.