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Bonner urges Celtic board to keep Keane for rest of season

PACKIE BONNER has urged the Celtic board to keep Robbie Keane on loan for next season.

The ex-Hoops keeper is a massive fan of the £65,000-a-week striker who has delivered eight goals in eight games since arriving from Spurs in January.

FAI technical director Bonner said: "Robbie took a chance coming here but he was out of the team at Spurs. He needed to get games again.

"There was also that boyhood dream to play for Celtic.

"From Celtic's point of view it is very important to have as good a goalscorer as him.

"Whether he can stay for a longer period will be down to the club, not Tony Mowbray.

"Could they extend the loan period for next season or buy him outright? I think that a permanent signing, with the money involved, isn't realistic.

"If Celtic are to be more competitive in Europe then he is the kind of guy they need.

"The fans still think Celtic should be at the very top level, but maybe that's unrealistic. You need the best players, but the very best cost top dollar.

"Celtic and Rangers can't do that now."

Bonner added: "Robbie's wife told me how much he is loving it at Celtic. He enjoys the devotion and he's a hero to the fans. Robbie will respond to that and the way the fans adore him might help the club land him for a bit longer.

"The Old Firm can't hope to get guys like him on a permanent basis, if we are blunt. Will there be a hangover if and when Robbie leaves?

"That's always a risk with a short-term deal but he is adding something right now."

Meanwhile, Thomas Rogne is confident he can capture one of the two central defensive berths at Parkhead when he returns from injury.

The Celtic defender (19) last month pulled a hamstring in the 1-0 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox in what was only his third game for the club since signing from Norwegian club Stabaek in January.

While fellow teenager Josh Thompson and Darren O'Dea are in the centre-back positions at the moment, Rogne is still two weeks away from consideration alongside Jos Hooiveld and Glenn Loovens, who are also returning from injuries.

Rogne is determined not to ponder too much on his bad luck and instead is focused on securing a first team place.

He said: "It is never a good time to be injured but maybe I felt a little bad because I was actually in the team when it happened.

"But you can't think like that, it would just destroy you. You just have to look forward."