Daily Mirror correspondent Alan Nixon has revealed that Celtic boss Tony Mowbray has earmarked Tottenham’s much travelled striker Robbie Keane as a potential transfer target in the January transfer window and may well be prepared to offer Scottish international midfielder Scott Brown, a confirmed target for Harry Redknapp during the summer, in order to secure a potential deal for the player.
While the link between Celtic and Keane goes back to 2005, when the player intimated that he would not be averse to joining up with the then Celtic boss Gordon Strachan at Parkhead, for the player to move now would be something of a shock. Given Keane’s torrid six month spell with Liverpool and his somewhat incredulous return to White Hart Lane a few months later, it seems patently absurd, even for king of the transfer deal Harry Redknapp, to sanction the sale of a player he has only recently brought back to the club.
Despite this, and Harry’s seeming willingness to bring almost every half decent Portsmouth player over to White Hart Lane with him (Nico Kranjcar has joined Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch at the club in recent times and there is still talk of a potential move in January for David James), Keane’s sale would still be something of a shock, however the thought of Brown being part of any deal could well entice Redknapp to consider the sale, especially given the wealth of striking options available to him at Tottenham already and the fact that he only did not follow up his interest in Brown during the summer due to Celtic’s £12m valuation of the player. A fee Redknapp felt was excessive.
While Celtic’s wealthy Irish backers would love to land the Republic of Ireland’s highest ever goalscorer for their club and would pick up the tab for Keane’s hefty wage bill, one would have to question the motive behind Keane accepting such a move. His past history is of him never seeing through a contract with his club, his first spell at Tottenham apart. Whether he was at Wolves, Inter, Leeds, Liverpool or indeed now Spurs again, Keane’s eyes seem, rightly or wrongly, fixed firmly on the next move and in doing so he runs the risk of being a great player that never really proved his greatness at any one club over a consistent period of time. Instead he has shown flashes of his genius at all his clubs, but a general alacrity to move on when a hefty new contract is dangled in front of him.
That’s not to suggest Keane is a mercenary. The modern day footballer has to go where he is in demand and Keane’s talents will ensure that is the case for many years to come. However to move North of the border would, in my view, be a detrimental move to his career. While Celtic and Rangers possess the quality to sustain themselves in the Premier League, the rest of the SPL would struggle. That is being kind and it is also the reason why many top players, like Craig Bellamy, Pierre Van Hooijdonk and even Paul Gascoigne understand that looking great in the modern day SPL is one thing, and making it in the Premier League is something quite different.
Keane must be an incredibly wealthy man given the number of big money transfers he has been involved in and given his bulging wage packet and sponsorship/endorsement deals. Perhaps it is time he committed himself to a future at Spurs and rejected Celtic’s overtures in an attempt to prove to himself and his fans and critics, that he can once again become one of the best strikers in the Premier League and also Europe.
It would also be a huge boost for the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup chances, if he could regain his best form at the highest level. That sadly, isn’t in the SPL.
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