Bhoys boss advises Celtic supporters to enjoy Keane while they can
TONY MOWBRAY has urged Celtic fans to enjoy watching Robbie Keane for the rest of the season as the Parkhead club have little chance of buying Ireland's captain in the summer.
Keane has scored eight goals in eight games since arriving on loan from Tottenham in January, prompting Celtic fans to wonder what he might help them achieve in a full season.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, however, has made it clear that he will not be loaning Keane out again. That means Celtic would have to come up with a substantial transfer fee if they want to keep him in Glasgow, but Mowbray yesterday ruled that out.
Speaking ahead of their SPL clash with St Johnstone at Parkhead today, the Celtic manager said: "For me it is about Robbie enjoying his football and the Celtic fans enjoying what he brings and the goals that he scores.
"If it is the case that he goes back to Tottenham at the end of the season, all we can do is hope he enjoyed his time at Celtic and contributed some goals, which he already has done.
"Football is very much about finance these days and Robbie Keane is way out of our structure.
"He cost them (Spurs) £12m. I don't think that our board are going to loosen the purse strings that much.
"I wouldn't dare tell Harry Redknapp what his best options would be, but I do know that Robbie will have benefited from playing regular football and he has shown the quality that he possesses.
"Harry has some pretty special players at his disposal and Robbie is here because Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko were competition for him and obviously he wanted to play. He may face similar challenges when he goes back.
"But when was the last time a Scottish club payed £12m for a player? Was it Tore Andre Flo? Those days are long gone in the Scottish game, I think."
Meanwhile, Defoe surprised Redknapp yesterday when he returned to the Tottenham training pitch less than 24 hours after sustaining a hamstring injury in training.However, the striker faces several weeks on the sidelines as Tottenham begin a crucial set of matches that is likely to determine whether they qualify for the Champions League. He will also almost certainly miss the FA Cup semi-final if Spurs beat Fulham in their quarter-final replay.
The 27-year-old joins Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Tom Huddlestone, David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas on the sidelines.