PNE still Keane on Robbie

Preston remain on the trail of Robbie Keane, who is looking to make a return to English football after five years in the United States.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 5:00 am
Robbie Keane, who has been linked with PNE, celebrates a goal for the Republic of Ireland

Keane mentioned interest from ‘a few’ Championship clubs when interviewed on national radio.

PNE see the 36-year-old as someone who can bring that extra quality and experience to the forward line as they look to push further up the division.

The former Tottenham, Liverpool and Inter Milan front man can boast more than 600 club games and 146 appearances for the Republic of Ireland in a stellar career.

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So what would bring him to Deepdale and what could count against a deal being done?

Keane would get game time with Preston and join an ever-increasing Irish contingent at Deepdale – he was a team-mate of Aiden McGeady in the Republic of Ireland squad and the pair have the same agent.

From his days at Leeds he also knows Peter Ridsdale, who is advisor to North End owner Trevor Hemmings.

On the flip side of the coin, salary will be an issue and Preston’s budget is smaller compared to some other clubs at this level.

Keane has been on Premier League-sized wages throughout his career and was well paid by LA Galaxy, the MLS club he left in November after five years in the United States.

While the transfer window has less than a fortnight to run, Keane being a free agent means he could sign for a club outside of it.

But he does seem willing to get going quickly and believes he has much to offer.

“I think I would be fine, I keep myself fit,” Keane said in an interview on Talksport.

“I have always had a hunger and desire and have scored goals wherever I have gone.

“I think I can help a team, help the younger players – my job over the years has been to score goals and help score goals.”

Although Keane did not name any of the clubs who have shown an interest, he did confirm that two of his old teams – Leeds and Wolves – had not been in touch.

He said: “I’m fortunate enough to have got a few offers in England and abroad.

“I’ve had to knock back a couple which were a bit too far away.

“There have been a few offers in the Championship, a few snippets.

“Until it is actually there in writing, I can’t comment.”

Keane had been playing in America since 2011, joining LA Galaxy from Spurs for £3.5m.

“I had an unbelievable time there, I was fortunate to win three Championships in five years,” said the front man.

“Last season I missed a few games at the start and also went to the Euros but I scored 10 goals in 17 games.”