McLeish believes Villa will reap the benefits from Keane wanting to remain sharp before the MLS resumes in March and ahead of the Euro 2012 finals with the Republic of Ireland.
Villa owner Randy Lerner has sanctioned the deal outside the general sell-to-buy policy McLeish has to adhere to because of the club's sizeable wage bill.
McLeish, who came close to signing Keane from Tottenham 12 months ago while manager at Birmingham, said: "It [the deal] is not far away but I don't like to commit myself until it actually is done.
"The club have sanctioned the deal. They didn't think it was too bad an idea or too big a risk.
"I missed out on Robbie last year although it was probably fortunate because he got injured just after that. But Robbie has got good experience, he is good in the dressing room and he is highly motivated.
"He has got a certain competition to play at the end of the season with his country so he wants to maintain his level. He wants to come here and we would be trying to get things cleared for next week."
Meanwhile, McLeish says he has no plans to sell any players this month and downplayed reports QPR have made an offer for central defender James Collins, and laughed off suggestions Darren Bent would be making a January exit.
"We kid Darren along," McLeish said. "There's banter like 'when are you off?' and that kind of stuff and he says 'you probably know more than me' and I say 'but, I don't'.
"Again, there's been no contact and he's another one I don't think will be going anywhere. If there's any interest out there, I'm not aware of any. We've heard stories saying this club and that club is going to try and buy him.
"But if we say he's not for sale then a) he's not for sale and b) there's been nobody in contact with us."
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