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no sign of keane edge dulling yet

ROBBIE Keane will carry on until he drops but he's not planning on anything so dramatic before he has three or four more seasons under his belt playing the game he loves.

His move to America has paid off in every imaginable way and the form he has shown for LA Galaxy alerted a slew of Premier League managers to the possibility of a mid-season goal injection from a player who believes he is as fit now as he has been for a number of years.

He turned up in his home town yesterday to promote the friendly between LA Galaxy and Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on February 21 and revealed that there has been interest from 'most' of the Premier League in grabbing him on a short loan deal.

Keane was tempted and it would be no surprise at all if Richard Dunne called about a run in QPR hoops or, indeed, if Brendan Rodgers fancied a short-term solution to a big problem. But Robbie is thinking long term.

"I was asked at end of the season where am I going to go? I knew this was coming. I see myself playing for three to four more years, 100 per cent. I don't see myself playing for (just) another year. I need to be honest with myself, and everyone else, that my future is beyond this year.

"For me to focus and concentrate on playing for Ireland, and focus on playing in the Euros, I have to look beyond this year (2015). I never said I was going to leave the Galaxy. I need to see what's best for myself in the long term. I see myself playing for a long time, touch wood, without any injury.

"I don't want to see myself going into a year with the Euros next year and wondering what's going to happen. I see myself playing way, way beyond that.

"I've got one more year (with LA Galaxy); then they have the option of another one. It's not about me trying to get a contract.

"I'm looking three or four years down the line, that's how good I feel. It's the best I've felt for a long, long time. Since I've been at the Galaxy, I've got better and better," claimed Keane.

Galaxy's visit to Ireland will give Irish fans a chance to see what they've been watching, hearing and reading about for some time now.

"It's something that we discussed for a few years that it would be nice to go and play a game in Ireland. Ultimately - I don't say this often and I probably won't say it again - it's thanks to you guys for promoting and backing the MLS. And the support I've been given since going over there.

"That's been a big factor because they see all the messages that I receive from people in Ireland and the publicity that's come from me being over there.

"So it's a credit to all of you that it's happened because ultimately, if you go somewhere like that, you can easily be forgotten about. That hasn't been the case. I've been doing well, the team's been doing well and getting a lot of exposure.

Keane remains trenchant in his views about turning up for Ireland even if it takes a bit longer these days to get here and he made his feelings plain behind closed doors to his Ireland squad mates.

"As soon as you are picked for Ireland you should be over straight away, regardless. I've said it to the lads also in a room. So I don't need to start saying stuff again. But when you get picked for your country, you have to come," said Keane who believes that James McCarthy had good reason to miss the recent clash with Scotland.

"It's fairly simple. I think James McCarthy was genuinely injured the last time, but he came over anyway," said Keane.

"So I don't do the dealings with the managers. I have no clue about the conversations with Martin or Roy or whoever. I know myself, personally, over the last 15 years, when you have got big games coming up, some managers don't want you to go. I have been there myself. But I have always come."

Keane and his namesake Roy haven't always seen eye-to-eye in the past when lines were drawn depending on which side of the Saipan debate you were on, but he feels there is a sense of mutual respect between the two men.

"I think there's a mutual respect there between both of us because of what both of us have done in our careers and don't forget, me and Roy played together for a good few years, so we kind of know each other from playing days also.

"As a coach he certainly has a lot to offer and I think I wouldn't be the only one to say that, I think most of the players, if not all of them, would agree with me there. There's a good rapport between him and Martin, they have a good relationship and you can clearly see that, also away from the training field.

"On the training field he's someone people respect automatically, but ultimately when you're assistant manager you have to be doing the job for the team and the players, so since he's come in he's done that brilliantly. I think every player has enjoyed it so far under both of them, and long may that continue."


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