Reports today suggest that a deal has been agreed between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool for Irish striker Robbie Keane. It is believed that he has already undergone the medical and could be flying out to Spain tomorrow to join his new team for a friendly against Villarreal.
The fee is expected to be in the £20 million range with the hope that he can bring success back to Liverpool after a long and painful 18 years without the league title.
Now, whilst we have all been told this summer, as we have been every summer before, that this is Liverpool’s year, Robbie Keane’s move doesn’t fill me with fear. He is a handy player and could bag 20 goals for the dippers next season, but our hateful neighbours need much more than a goalscorer (after Kuyt’s embarrassing 3 goals from 29 appearances last season) to bring about the glory days.
So whilst confident Liverpool will be lingering around 3rd or 4th place again this season (Arsenal’s imminent decline meaning it is more likely that the dippers will see an improved finishing spot), I am surprised that this deal for Robbie Keane is so far along, for a couple of reasons. Namely his pledge to stay at the club, along with Spurs’ decision to report Liverpool to the Premier League for supposedly tapping the player up.
“There’s always speculation that I’m going here, there and everywhere but I’m very content with my life and with my time at Spurs,” Keane said less than two months ago. “I will continue to play there for as long as I am happy and for as long as I am wanted. It’s good to have a summer off but then I look forward to going back to Spurs next season.”
It’s strange then, considering Spurs’ chairman, Daniel Levy, claimed the player wasn’t for sale and they didn’t want him to leave just a fortnight ago, that Keane is on the move. Nothing beats a statement of loyalty to your club, only to be packing your bags a few weeks later!
“Today’s public comments by Manchester United’s manager, announcing that he has made an offer for Dimitar and is confident that the deal will go through with time working in their favour, is a blatant example of sheer arrogance and interference with one of our players,” Levy claimed. Unfortunately, he’d just picked up that day’s copy of The Sun, reading an article with comments supposedly originally coming from a Scandinavian Supporters site, attributed to Ferguson. This website later claimed they had misquoted our manager, with Berbatov not actually being mentioned by name. The interview was recorded so clearing Fergie is rather simple.
After “different” Levy threw a load of abuse in United’s direction, he then turned on Liverpool.
“Benitez made similar comments in respect of Robbie recently and we made an official complaint to the Premier League about the conduct of Liverpool earlier this week,” he said. “The behaviour of both clubs has been disgraceful. We told both clubs very early on that we had no interest in selling Robbie or Dimitar, respectively, and that they should refrain from pursuing the player. Both clubs arrogantly chose to ignore this request and we now have evidence that both clubs have systematically been working to prise the players away from us, outside of Premier League rules of conduct. Our subsequent position has been severely compromised by both clubs making their intentions widely known and indeed making contact with the players and their agents, without the club’s permission. I have absolutely no wish to sell either player and to date we have not accepted any offer for either.”
So hold on, Spurs are letting off steam about the terrible behaviour of these clubs, but a week later, are more than happy to enter in to a deal with one of them? He has no desire to sell either of the players, but then does exactly that?
So I imagine this bodes well for United signing Berbatov, if Levy is so happy to go back on his word. I do wonder what the Premier League will have to say about this though. Can they really take Spurs’ argument seriously when just a week later the Levy is happy enough to talk with one of these supposed ‘disgraceful’ clubs about a transfer for the player who’s supposedly been tapped up?
I’m sure that when Spurs finish in the top 4 this season (snigger) it’ll all this fuss over nothing will be worthwhile…