Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Keane to choose between Baggies and Blackburn

Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane. Photo: Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

ROBBIE KEANE has a choice to make between West Brom and Blackburn as he prepares to leave Tottenham before the start of the new Premier League season.

Blackburn are long-term admirers of the Ireland skipper, while West Brom boss Roy Hodgson -- who has also been linked with a move for Shane Long -- also wants to recruit the 30-year-old.

"Robbie is talking to two Premier League clubs and it's important that he goes to one of them and plays," said Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp said earlier this week that, if Keane has a good pre-season, he could potentially force his way back into his thoughts.

Realistically, though, both player and club are preparing for movement. Earlier this summer, the Dubliner conceded that with one year remaining on his contract, Spurs would be looking to cash in.


Keane endured a miserable loan stint with West Ham in the second half of last season, but finished the campaign on a high with a crucial brace for Ireland in Macedonia -- which brought him across the 50 international goals barrier.

Trapattoni appears satisfied with the summer transfer movements of his Irish squad.

The Italian has endorsed Shay Given's proposed move to Aston Villa, believing that it would be an excellent fit for the Donegal man.

Similarly, he believes that John O'Shea will benefit from the responsibility of becoming club captain at Sunderland. Trapattoni, who briefly got Sunderland mixed up with Wolves as he described the Waterford man's new situation, is sure that the defender knows what he is doing.

"He wasn't a reserve, but he probably preferred to go to another club. It's good that he will play. Now, we just have to see which position -- if it's right-back or central defence," he said.

O'Shea has been joined at Sunderland by Keiren Westwood, who moves to the top flight for the first time. The Irish manager feels that Steve Bruce has "struck a good deal" by securing the goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Trapattoni revealed that he was instrumental in Sean St Ledger's switch from Preston to Leicester. He spoke on the phone with Sven Goran Eriksson and gave St Ledger a ringing endorsement.

"Eriksson asked what I thought about him, and you will know what I said about St Ledger. I said that he is very confident and, for me, he is a good player and a good man. Now, I say to St Ledger, you must show to Eriksson what I said about you," said Trapattoni.

One Irishman who won't be going anywhere in the coming weeks is Kevin Foley. The versatile Wolves performer has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Molineux until 2015.

Foley (28) who had two years remaining of his previous deal, has made 161 appearances for Wolves since moving from Luton four years ago.

Irish Independent

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