Jol makes Keane top target ahead of switch to Cottagers
Martin Jol has made Ireland captain Robbie Keane his top transfer target if, as expected, he takes over as Fulham manager.
Such a move would also benefit Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, as Keane would be likely to play regularly at Craven Cottage, where he would dovetail with international colleague Damien Duff.
Jol made Keane his captain when the pair were together at Tottenham, and the manager still holds the Dubliner in high regard; the £6m fee on his head is unlikely to put off the Cottagers.
There is likely to be stiff competition from Aston Villa for the 30-year-old's signature, but the prospect of being able to stay in London should make Fulham the most attractive option for a player who has spent much of his career on the move.
The fee would represent a significant chunk of the £20m which Jol has been promised to bring in new recruits this summer, should he take over. Fulham yesterday continued to negotiate with Ajax over compensation for Jol, whose potential departure from the famous Dutch club has caused outrage in the Netherlands.
Jol also spent hours in talks with Ajax, who hope they can convince him to stay. The likelihood, however, is that a Fulham deal will be announced today. Jol's frustration at Ajax's decision to sell several of the club's best players has allowed Fulham the opportunity to tempt him away.
The Dutchman could also have to find a new goalkeeper should Mark Schwarzer move to Arsenal, with David James a short-term option. Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell is another possible recruit, for a fee of £2m. Jol has agreed a one-year rolling contract with Fulham that will see him paid a basic wage of £1.7m a year, but with several large bonuses related to performances.
Jol still has a house in London and has long harboured a desire to return to the capital after his success at Spurs. (© Independent News Service)