Soccer

Friday 25 July 2014

Keane waits on fitness for January move

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Published 18/12/2012|05:00

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ROBBIE KEANE has admitted that he is receiving enquiries from Premier League clubs about a short-term loan move in January, but says any switch would be determined by his fitness.

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The Ireland captain is currently enjoying the Major League Soccer closed season in Dublin after firing LA Galaxy to the American title last month.

He enjoyed a successful spell at Aston Villa last season and Queens Park Rangers are among the suitors believed to be interested in his signature this time around.

Speaking at '3' Mobile's 'Bringing Everyone Closer' campaign, the 32-year-old Tallaght native was non-committal on a move, saying he would see if the niggles he picked up during the season – with an Achilles tendon injury the greatest concern – would abate first.

"I am going to rest up and get ready for next season with the Galaxy," he said.

"I haven't even thought about taking up with any other teams, I have a few little niggles that I have to sort out before I even contemplate making any decisions.

"There has been a lot of speculation and a few clubs are interested, but it wouldn't be right for me to go anywhere if I wasn't 100pc fit and ready.

"I don't have any major problems, just an Achilles injury, but if that isn't right, I won't be going anywhere."

After a tumultuous 2012 with Ireland, the former Tottenham striker is looking forward to the new year with the international team and, in particular, the crunch March qualifiers against Sweden and Austria that look like determining Giovanni Trapattoni's side's chances of qualifying for World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

And, while Sweden have impressed hugely in recent months by coming from 4-0 down to draw with group leaders Germany and beating England 4-2 in a friendly, the experienced Keane is not giving up hope of a result in Stockholm against a "similar" side.

"Next year is going to be big for Ireland, in March we have two very important games," he said.

"They will dictate where the teams will go so we look forward to it and hopefully it'll be a lucky year for us.

"Sweden and Austria are the two teams that are going to be around us. I didn't see the game, but I heard Sweden were very good against England, but I think they are similar to us, not too many differences.

"When you look at Germany, it's fair to say they will win the group and it's up to us to finish second as we always do and go into a play-off.

"We are still in with a shout but these two games are make-or-break, but we have as much chance as anyone else."

Irish Independent

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