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McLeish optimistic of Keane deal

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has confirmed his interest in signing LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane on loan.

• Villa linked with Keane loan bid

Keane, who is available as it is the MLS off-season, is reported to have held "productive talks" with Villa and is expected to sign a £500,000 two-month deal, potentially in time for their next Premier League against Everton on January 14.

McLeish is eager for Keane to make the temporary switch to Villa Park and believes the chances of it happening are "more than 50-50.''

The Scot said: "We are having a look at it with Robbie and trying to pursue it. That is the latest although nothing is done and dusted yet.

"If we don't know by Monday, then it probably will not be done. That's why I don't want to say too much in case it doesn't happen.

"We are certainly pursuing it and at the moment, both parties are keen. I would say the chances are a bit better than 50-50.''

McLeish has again insisted record signing Darren Bent is not for sale as speculation continues to link him with a move to Liverpool.

Bent, Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner and McLeish had all previously said the striker was going nowhere.

McLeish said: "We've not heard a thing from Liverpool. I'm aware of the speculation. But there has been no contact with this club and I think you've had three parties telling you that.

"We wouldn't want to entertain selling our top scorer of last season. He is a prolific marksman.''

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