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By ESPN Staff

Redknapp: Keane can leave in January

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has revealed that Robbie Keane will be allowed to leave the club in January, with Aston Villa and new MLS franchise Vancouver Whitecaps thought to be leading the hunt for his signature.

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Keane's White Hart Lane future has been in doubt for almost a year, with the Ireland captain having been loaned out to Celtic for the second half of last season.

The striker has started only twice this term for Spurs, with Peter Crouch, Roman Pavyluchenko and the fit-again Jermain Defoe all ahead of him in the pecking order.

It has been more than a month since Keane's last involvement with the first team and a permanent move away from the club at which he has starred in the Premier League since 2002, appears certain.

"I think he'd like to move - he wants to play, you know?" Redknapp said. "He's not used to not playing. All his career, he's played and been a big player and he wants to play. He could sit here and take his wages, but that's not him.

"He wants to play football. He trains hard, works hard every day, he's shown a great attitude. And probably the hardest decision I had to make was last week: I couldn't get him on the bench.

"It wasn't easy when you respect somebody and what a good player he is or has been. It was hard, because he's still a good player.''

Redknapp will not consider another loan for Keane when the January transfer window re-opens, insisting any move would need to be permanent.

"Whoever offers the biggest fee will, I suppose, be the answer in January,'' said Redknapp, who added he knew nothing of interest from Canada in the form of the Whitecaps. He also denied trying to bring Emmanuel Adebayor to White Hart Lane, insisting the Manchester City striker's wages are too high.

One player Redknapp is looking to tie up is stand-in captain William Gallas, whose one-year contract contains a clause for an extension if he plays a certain number of games.

The former Arsenal skipper is on course to hit that target but his manager would be keen to extend his stay, even if he falls short.

"That's up to the chairman at the end of the day,'' Redknapp said. "But, for me, if he continues to play like he has then he could go on and play for another few years.''

Redknapp also revealed Rafael van der Vaart and Younes Kaboul could both be fit for next Sunday's Premier League game with Chelsea, after initial fears the Dutchman could be out for a month.

Both will miss Sunday's trip to Birmingham and Tuesday's final Champions League Group A game at FC Twente with respective hamstring and hip injuries.

Meanwhile, regular captain Ledley King trained this morning in a last-gasp bid to overcome the groin injury that has blighted his season. The defender is being pushed in order to establish whether he requires surgery.

"He will push his training on and really push himself for the next two weeks,'' Redknapp said. "We need a decision by the 23rd of this month.

"The lady who would operate goes away between the 23rd and the 10th January. If he breaks down then he will have the op. He would be out for four or five weeks after the operation.''


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