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Wednesday 20 September 2017

Keane set for Spurs return

Robbie Keane scored his 16th Celtic goal yesterday against Hearts to help strengthen Neil Lennon's application form for the Celtic job but left his own future open to debate.

Captain for the day, wearing a jersey that commemorated National Famine Memorial Day, Keane's 23rd minute goal opened the scoring to help Celtic to a 2-1 win that trimmed Rangers winning margin down to six points.

After the match Celtic issued a bizarre statement claiming that they were now beginning the process to appoint a new manager- six weeks and nine games after sacking Tony Mowbray.



DIPLOMATIC

An announcement had been expected within the next week about the appointment with most fans and observers expecting Lennon to get the job after delivering eight SPL wins on the bounce to secure second place.

Lennon remained diplomatic about the unexpected development with attention switching to Keane who has done so much to strengthen the former club captains chances of getting the managers job on a permanent basis.

Keane said: "I'm a Tottenham player, I've got a contract with Tottenham Hotspur so I'll be back there in the summer unless someone tells me different. Asked about returning to Celtic he said: "There are too many people involved to say that, there are too many parties involved.

"I don't want to be disrespectful to Tottenham, I've got a contract there. As far as I'm concerned I'll be back there until I'm told differently.

"I was with the Tottenham players during the week, they've did a tremendous job and full credit to Harry for the fantastic job he's done. I'm sure they'll be back there next season."

Over the weekend Spurs were linked with moves for Raul and Craig Bellamy with Harry Redknapp looking for one marquee player for his side's first ever tilt at the Champions League.

With the experienced Eidur Gudjohnsen set to stay on at White Hart Lane Keane's chances of regular first team football at Spurs look bleaker than before he left for Celtic.

There will be no shortage of Premiership offers for the striker should he become available during the transfer window but the prospect of returning to Celtic can't be ruled out.

Despite joining halfway through the club's worst season in a decade the striker has revelled in the emotional pull of playing at Parkhead with goal scoring chances guaranteed alongside first team football.

Should Celtic come up with an imaginative managerial appointment or give Lennon substantial funding to revamp the side a return to Glasgow could appeal to the Spurs skipper whose wife Claudine has recently teamed up with the Glasgow-based Ultimo fashion range.

No move for Keane can be considered until the management issue is resolved with the club issuing a confusing statement after the match claiming: "The Board will now turn to the formal process of considering the appointment of a new manager.



CONTENT

"We intentionally delayed starting that process until today out of fairness and courtesy to Neil."

That statement has been interpreted that the club is looking beyond Lennon for Mowbray's replacement with the stand-in boss preparing to take a step back despite steering the club into a respectable second place after Rangers had looked likely to run up a 20 plus winning margin.

Lennon said: "I'm pretty content with things. I'd like to thank them (the directors) for giving me the opportunity to take the team.

"People say you can go back down the road, learn your trade and come back in four years time.

"But football doesn't happen that way. You get offered an opportunity like this, you have to take it or you would regret it for the rest of your life."

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