BACK to square one. Robbie Keane's wage demands have scuppered a move away from the bench at Tottenham as Birmingham City backed out of a deal for Keane which would have cost the club £20m.
Keane, who has failed to even make the bench for Spurs' last two games, was in line for a move away from White Hart Lane as Birmingham had agreed a fee with Tottenham for the Ireland captain, where Birmingham would pay £6m up front with more cash due to Spurs if City - one point away from the relegation zone - stayed up.
But Birmingham confirmed that Keane's wage demands had killed the deal and Alex McLeish is now looking elsewhere for a striker, with Rangers man Kenny Miller the next target.
It's though that Keane was insisting on a three and a half year-deal with a weekly wage packet of £65,000 a week to match his current deal at White Hart Lane. That would have earned Keane almost £12 million, or €14 million in wages alone.
Overall, the package would have cost Birmingham £20 million and with relegation still very much a threat to McLeish's side, City did not want to be lumbered with that sort of commitment for a 30-year-old who has started just two games all season.
Harry Redknapp has made it clear that Keane is not in his plans. Aston Villa had been linked with Keane but their bid of £20 million for Sunderland striker Darren Bent suggests that Gerard Houllier now has other targets as Villa join Birmingham in the battle for survival.