Redknapp eager to move Irish captain on
Published 19/08/2010 | 05:00
Robbie Keane may have played an important part in Tottenham's second goal in the first leg of their Champions League play-off against Swiss side Young Boys, but the striker is understood to have been told he has no future at the club.
Keane's is the highest-profile name that manager Harry Redknapp wants to move on should Spurs overcome their one-goal deficit, having lost 3-2, and progress into the group stages of a competition which would increase the club's revenues by up to £30m.
Redknapp accepts that he cannot add to his squad without selling and with a striker remaining a priority -- and having missed out on Craig Bellamy -- he is adamant that he would prefer to move Keane on if possible.
A deal to sell the 30-year-old to Aston Villa -- with Spurs also attempting to negotiate the signing of Ashley Young in return -- collapsed with the resignation of manager Martin O'Neill, and, at present, there are no other suitors.
With Keane earning £65,000 a week and also determined to remain at White Hart Lane, Redknapp is struggling to drum up interest in the player.
It means any moves for a replacement are on hold, with PSV Eindhoven's highly rated Swedish striker Ola Toivonen the latest to be linked. Spurs have also tracked Sevilla's Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano for some time.
It has been a dramatic fall from grace for Keane, who returned to Tottenham from Liverpool in the 2009 January transfer window in a £15m deal after being guaranteed the Spurs captaincy.
One club chairman who had been contacted about signing Keane said: "Why would we want to buy a player who earns £65,000 a week and isn't as quick as he used to be?"
Keane went out on loan to Celtic in January and although Redknapp insisted he might still have a future with Spurs, he has been identified as the player the manager most desires to move to improve his squad which, following Tuesday's shocking performance, does not appear equipped to compete in the Champions League.
Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has already warned that Keane is in danger of reliving his nightmare at Liverpool if he stays at White Hart Lane. The Italian also revealed that he has urged Keane to leave.
"He could play like he did at Liverpool -- only sometimes," the Italian said. "With Robbie, I think it is important that he plays every game. He is a mature player."
Uefa, meanwhile, has rejected Redknapp's criticisms of the artificial surface used in Berne. Uefa said: "This is not an issue. Before the match a pitch is inspected and if it does not comply with regulations then it will not be used." (© Daily Telegraph, London)