Keane urges McGeady to join Irish invasion at Goodison Park
Robbie Keane has advised Aiden McGeady to take a leap of faith and push through his transfer from Spartak Moscow to Everton with immediate effect.
With his contract expiring in June, McGeady is willing to accept a pre-contractual agreement with Roberto Martinez's side, even though his preference is to move to Goodison Park in this transfer window.
Should he do so, then the winger will join a growing Irish colony at a club where Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Darron Gibson have made a considerable impact in the last 12 months.
"The McGeady transfer story has been going on for a while," said the Republic of Ireland captain, "and he's certainly looking to get back from Russia after the problems he's had with his coach.
"This is a good time for him to come to England. I know him quite well and know that it's something he's wanted to do.
"There's obviously a lot of talk about Everton and I'd say it would be a good club for him, given the number of other Irish lads that are there, the fact they have a good manager, a good tradition and are a stable club.
"Those factors make it a perfect fit. I haven't seen any of the other teams that might be in for him, but from what I have heard, Everton would probably be the right move."
Certainly it has proven to be the right move for Coleman -- whose career continues to reach heights few imagined possible when he swapped the payroll of Sligo Rovers for life on Merseyside in January 2009.
This season he has emerged as the Premier League's highest-scoring defender -- impressing, among others, his international captain.
"Seamus is the modern-day full-back and fits the bill to be one of the top, top players in the league and he's already proving that.
"For any player to add little bits to your game is only going to help you and Seamus is doing that this year with the goals. Beyond that though, his overall play has been brilliant. He and James McCarthy have really stood out."
One player who has also stood out for Keane in the MLS is Mike McGee, who Keane tried to convince to declare for Ireland but who has since been called into the US squad.
"When the US called Mike up, I texted him to wish him well and I know he was delighted with the call.
"You have to understand that for any player it would be huge to feature in a World Cup and while Mike McGee has Irish family, he was born and bred in America to American parents.
"In any case, I don't think anybody ever spoke to him so the natural progression for him was America."
West Brom striker Shane Long's situation is slightly more complicated. His proposed switch to Hull collapsed at the last minute in August, but Steve Bruce is still determined to sign the Tipp native. However, the Tigers have released a statement to deal with reports a £5m switch was imminent.
"The club confirms that it has not reached any agreement with West Brom over the transfer of Shane Long, and will not be conducting a medical with the player today," they said.
Long's wife Kayleah responded to queries on Twitter by stating she is settled in Birmingham and does not want to move as she is currently pregnant with their second child.
The player himself has gone on record to say he is happy, but he is believed to be bemused by happenings at his employers, with Steve Clarke shown the door before Christmas.
Nottingham Forest are amongst a list of suitors and, while that would involve dropping down a division, their midlands location may work in their favour. But Hull are expected to come back with a renewed offer on terms that could sway the 26-year-old.
Paddy Madden was in Scunthorpe last night to complete the finishing touches of a move that will see him drop down two divisions after agreeing a deal to leave Yeovil.
* Robbie Keane was speaking at a combined UEFA 'A' and 'B' Diploma coaching course in Carlow which is being run by the FAI (see http://coaching.fai.ie).