FORMER Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane gestured towards an Arsenal fan during a football match to “meet him outside” after “banter turned more aggressive”, a court has heard.

Scott Law, 43, from Waltham Abbey, denies a charge of common assault against Mr Keane relating to an incident on September 3 last year following Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United.

The ex-Ireland international, who was working as a pundit for Sky Sports, was allegedly headbutted through doors at the Emirates Stadium by Law.

Law’s defence team alleged that CCTV footage from inside the stadium, shown in court, displayed Mr Keane elbowing the defendant in the face.

Epping Forest Guardian: Scott Law (green arrow) is accused of headbutting Roy Keane (blue arrow)Scott Law (green arrow) is accused of headbutting Roy Keane (blue arrow) (Image: Edward Fail Bradshaw & Waterson/PA Wire)

Under cross-examination, the police officer in charge of the case told Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Thursday that there may have been contact from Mr Keane, but it “does not look like a deliberate elbow to the face”.

Referring to the footage, defence barrister Charles Sherrard KC asked the officer: “What possible explanation can there be for raising your elbow at that speed to hold someone?”

Det Con Phil Dickinson, from the Met's sporting investigations unit, replied: “In my opinion, he’s gone to grab hold of him.”

He added: “There may have been contact, but it does not look like a deliberate elbow to the face in my opinion.”

Mr Sherrard alleged that “the red mist descended” on Mr Keane after a VAR decision went against Manchester United towards the end of the match and he was taunted by home supporters.

Addressing the former Nottingham Forest player, Mr Sherrard said: “You chose to confront him. When you saw him, you said: ‘Say it to my face you fat c***’.”

Mr Keane replied: “I said that when I was at work? Disagree.”

In a prepared statement given to police on the day following the incident, Law said: “Throughout the match there was what I would regard as banter between me and Mr Keane.

“The banter turned more aggressive with Mr Keane gesturing towards me to meet him outside.”

He said during a “natural break in the game” he went to use the toilet and was approached by Mr Keane in a “very aggressive manner”, adding: “His face looked angry.”

The trial continues.