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Feb 2, 2009

Liverpool and Spurs agree deal for Keane transfer

Robbie Keane has completed his sensational return to Tottenham Hotspur after six months at Liverpool - making him the third player Harry Redknapp has brought back to White Hart Lane in this transfer window.

Keane, following Jermain Defoe and Pascal Chimbonda as players rejoining Spurs, left for Anfield in the summer but has paid the price for failing to fit into the plans of boss Rafael Benitez.

The 28-year-old striker travelled to London today to agree personal terms and complete a medical.

''It was a difficult decision to make to leave Tottenham in the summer,'' Keane said. ''It proved not to be the right move for me.

''I know some Spurs fans will feel I let them down by leaving but I can assure them I shall be giving my all for this club - this club has terrific fans and I want to repay them for all their support. We've got to get on and fight our way up that league table.''

After seven goals this season, Benitez left his £20.3m forward out of the squads to face Everton in the FA Cup and Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend, preferring French youngster David Ngog on the bench.

Spurs boss Redknapp had stated his admiration for Keane, setting the wheels in motion for one of the most dramatic and swift returns.

Liverpool were unhappy with Redknapp's comments, while Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had been upset by Keane demanding a transfer last summer - but a deal was pushed through to get the Republic of Ireland captain back.

Levy added: ''We never wanted Robbie to leave in the summer, we acknowledged the six years dedicated service he gave this club and reluctantly let him go.

''I am delighted that he has chosen to return to us. We can all recall the passion and fight he displayed during his previous seasons with us. I know he is determined to give us his full commitment.''

Keane's debut is expected to be this weekend in the derby against neighbours Arsenal, although he is cup-tied for the Carling Cup final against Manchester United next month.

An advantage for the north London club in the negotiations was that Liverpool had not paid Keane's fee in full, meaning Spurs could write off what they were owed as part of the structure of the new deal.

With the value of the deal around £15m, Redknapp's spending since arriving at the end of October is close to the £50m mark, with Wilson Palacios, Defoe and Chimbonda. Carlo Cudicini has also arrived on a free transfer.

Giovani dos Santos was set to join Portsmouth but a move to Fratton Park fell through.

Spurs' bolstered squad will now attempt to climb from 14th place in the league. They have not been helped by losing to late goals in their last four away games.

''You look back at the four away games and think 'that's an extra four points we could have on our total' and how different it might all look,'' said defender Michael Dawson.

''Any defeat is difficult but the way we've lost those four games has been particularly hard to take.''

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