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No direction home: where next for Robbie?

The Ireland skipper needs to get out of Tottenham. But what are his options?

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IT HAS BEEN revealed that Birmingham have pulled out of a potential move for Ireland and Tottenham striker Robbie Keane.

Despite meeting the £6million price demands from Spurs, they were less than keen on meeting Keane’s wage demands which are said to be in excess of £65,000 a week.

So what now for Keane, who has only made seven appearances in the Premier League this season?

As Harry Redknapp looks to get the out-of-favour striker out of the club, a number of Premier League sides will be keeping a close eye on Keane’s availability – especially if Spurs make it known that he can leave on loan. Here’s a few options for the Tallaght man:

Sunderland – If Darren Bent’s transfer request is granted and he completes the reported £18million (or possible higher) move to Aston Villa, Steve Bruce will be on the lookout for a replacement.

With Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan doing quite well up front at the minute, it’s unlikely Sunderland will spend a huge chunk of the transfer money on a player of Bent’s quality – so Keane may be the right man for the job if he fancies hooking up with his old Ireland strike partner Niall Quinn at the Stadium of Light.

If only the chairman could give him service like this on the Stadium of Light pitch:
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Everton – Tottenham are set to complete the signing of Steven Pienaar;  could Everton be tempted into taking Keane to Goodison Park to lighten the blow from Pienaar’s departure?

David Moyes has already lost Yakubu this January, who joined Leicester City on loan, so the team may be in need of an experienced striker to dovetail the younger forwards he has in Jermaine Beckford, James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe.

Would Keane’s links with Liverpool be a stumbling block to a move, however?

Fulham – There’s been talk of this before, so could a move across London to Mark Hughes’ Fulham materialise? Fulham have a thin squad and the addition of the Dubliner to their striking options would be very helpful.

Having missed out on Roque Santa Cruz to Blackburn, Fulham may well be in the market for a January striker, but the return from injury of Andy Johnson is like a new signing in itself – and they may be happy to stay put for now.

West Ham – The Hammers are in dire need of someone to save their season. With the inevitable sacking of Avram Grant, West Ham lie rock bottom in the Premier League, lacking any inspiration and without confidence in front of goal.

Carlton Cole has had a miserable time up front this season, as has Frederic Piquionne, while Victor Obinna’s enthusiasm hasn’t resulted in goals. Benni McCarthy has been deprived of match time too.

Keane may be the quick answer to West Ham’s needs, and a move across London to Upton Park wouldn’t be at all surprising.

Wolves – A return to the club where he started his career could also be on the cards for the Dubliner. While Wolves aren’t lacking strikers, Robbie’s former international manager Mick McCarthy might be interested in the prospect of seeing Kevin Doyle and Keane partner up front together at club level.

As the club sit second from bottom, a romantic return to his former stomping ground could inspire a leap up the table.

Abroad – A move to a club outside of England is unlikely, while Celtic might be reluctant to take the player on loan again.

Robbie’s wife Claudine has mentioned the USA in the past – and with the new season just a few months away some MLS teams might be interested in handing Keane a bumper deal to make the switch to Beckham-country.

As a record international goalscorer, and one of the highest goalscorers in Premier League history, emulating previous players like Thierry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg could be possible.

Where do you think would be the best move for the Ireland skipper?

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Kevin Coleman

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