Villa close in on Keane
ASTON Villa are optimistic that they will complete the loan signing of Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane in time for their next Premier League game against Everton on January 14.
Villa have held what were described by sources close to the club as ”productive talks” with the Republic of Ireland international.
Keane is set to link up with Villa for a two-month period in a £500,000 deal before returning to Galaxy for the start of the Major Soccer League campaign in March.
If all goes to plan, Keane could face his Galaxy team-mate Landon Donovan, who has returned to Everton for a second loan spell, on his Villa debut.
Keane has been told he can go out on a two-month loan by his employers.
The 31-year-old Irish captain was rumoured to be catching the attention of Liverpool, Celtic and Aston Villa who are looking to improve their attacking options.
Tim Leiweke, president of Galaxy owners AEG, confirmed to American media that the MLS club would not stand in his way.
He confirmed that, ultimately, the final decision lay with Ireland's record goalscorer. “Only if Robbie wants to do it,” he said, “And for us, it's an opportunity for Robbie, from a conditioning standpoint, to stay healthy and in shape.”
After interest in Keane from Celtic Park and Anfield, Aston Villa now look to be his likely destination.
Then Villa manager John Gregory tried to sign Keane 12 years ago from Wolves, but the midlands club would not meet the asking price and he moved instead to Coventry.
Keane is maintaining his fitness by training with his former club Tottenham.
But he is keen to retain his sharpness by playing during the MLS break ahead of this summer's Euro 2012 finals.
Meanwhile, Villa have distanced themselves from reports claiming they have held talks with Tottenham over a possible move for midfielder Niko Kranjcar.