Sunday 4 December 2016

Ireland scare as knee injury keeps Keane out of Spurs' Benfica clash

Published 04/08/2010 | 05:00

The knee injury that ruled Robbie Keane out of Tottenham's pre-season trip to Portugal for last night's 1-0 victory over Benfica is not thought to be serious.

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Republic of Ireland striker Keane has been repeatedly linked with a move away from White Hart Lane since spending the second half of last season on loan at Celtic.

Tottenham are on the lookout for forward reinforcements, but have had their hopes of bringing Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to London hampered by the player's agent.

"He is happy at Milan and they are happy with him," Arnold Oosterveer said. "The Rossoneri want to keep him, and he wants to stay."

Elsewhere, Chelsea have agreed an £18m fee with Benfica to sign Ramires, who is expected to complete a medical at Stamford Bridge today.

The midfield player has won 16 caps for Brazil, but does not automatically qualify for a work permit because he has not played in 75pc of their matches over the past two years.

It is expected that the permit will be granted under special circumstances, but the delay may prevent him appearing in Sunday's Community Shield against Manchester United.

priorities

Meanwhile, as new Fulham boss Mark Hughes was unveiled at Craven Cottage yesterday, one of his first priorities is to bring the club's summer-long search for a striker to a conclusion as quickly as possible.

One name that has been mentioned more often than most is Roque Santa Cruz, surplus to requirements at Manchester City after scoring only four goals last season.

The Paraguayan is likely to cost around £9m should Hughes opt to link up with him again.

"I think it's fair to say that we need more attacking options," Hughes said. "We'll look at that and I think what everybody knows is that quality strikers are at a premium."

West Ham have signed Tal Ben-Haim, the Israel defender, on loan from Portsmouth until January.

Aston Villa defender Carlos Cuellar believes the club would be able to overcome the loss of James Milner, should the England midfielder opt to move to Manchester City.

"He is top class, one of the best in the Premier League and we need him," Cuellar said. "(But) if he is going to leave, we will replace him with another good player."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle remains keen on re-signing forward Ivan Klasnic, who scored eight goals on loan at the Reebok Stadium last season.

The striker's contract at French club Nantes has been cancelled. "Ivan is a great lad who's well liked in my dressing room," Coyle said. "If we can find a way to bring him back to the club, I'd love it."

Irish Independent

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