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Keane discusses terms as Spurs agree fee with Birmingham

Robbie Keane's nightmare second spell at Tottenham could be finally over after Birmingham City last night agreed a fee for the striker on the eve of their derby showdown against Aston Villa.

An offer of £4m rising to a possible £6m has been accepted by the White Hart Lane club and the Republic of Ireland captain has been cleared to open negotiations, which are expected to take place over the weekend.

Birmingham captain Alex McLeish has made no secret of his admiration for the 30-year-old, who has found himself on the periphery for his club again this season.

If he agrees terms, Keane will become the second player to join Birmingham from Spurs this week following David Bentley's arrival on loan.

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has responded to Alex Ferguson's claim that Tottenham will not stay the distance in this season's title race by claiming that the Manchester United manager is envious of his own resources.

Tottenham have defeated Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League this season, and drawn with reigning champions Chelsea, results Redknapp believes prove that his side have become more than a match for the top teams.

Spurs have not beaten United in the Premier League for 10 years, but have already broken one unwanted sequence this season when they beat Arsenal 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium in November to record their first league victory away to one of the so-called "big four" for 17 years.

In marked contrast to his usual approach to big matches, Redknapp sounded bullish about Tottenham's prospects of defeating United at White Hart Lane tomorrow.

"We have players that Alex would love in his team," Redknapp said. "We have lots of good players that can play in any team. We have no reason to fear anyone. We have people that can cause them problems. We believe in ourselves at home against anybody.

"They will be worried about us, how they can contain Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and deal with (Rafael) van der Vaart. Alex will be thinking: 'Yes it is a good Tottenham team.'"

Redknapp dismissed suggestions that the media circus surrounding David Beckham's presence at Tottenham has affected his team's preparations for this key encounter.

"David has brought a buzz around the place," Redknapp said.

"There are lots more press and fans around than normal, but once we get out on the training pitch we train and get on with it. It doesn't affect us.

"It has been good having him here. Everyone respects him, likes him.

"There's nothing flashy about him, in my opinion. He just comes in and just gets on with it. He's a great role model for any footballer."

Talks about a loan move for the 35-year-old have still to materialise into a concrete deal, with the Galaxy refusing to budge on their insistence that Beckham must return to pre-season training by the middle of February.

Irish Independent