Robbie Keane is expected to complete a loan move from LA Galaxy to Aston Villa on Tuesday.
The Republic of Ireland international has been training with former club Tottenham following the MLS cup final in November, during which he set up Landon Donovan to score the only goal of the game.
If the deal goes through, Keane would be at Villa Park until the MLS season begins on March 10, with the aim of improving his match sharpness to remain in contention for a place in Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland squad for Euro 2012.
“There’s red tape and it’s about cutting through that. We did hope we could have with him with us on Monday morning. We’re just waiting for clearance now,” Villa manager Alex McLeish told the club website.
“It will give everybody a lift – the team, the staff and most importantly the fans.”
“You are talking about a guy who is at his peak. At 19 there is a lot you don’t know, but at 31 you certainly know a lot more. If he is not as quick as he was he can make up for it with the quickness in his head.”
“He’s been training with Spurs since he came home from America, and the reports we are hearing say he is in tip-top condition.”
“Robbie wants to be at his peak for Euro 2012 and feels he wants to keep right on top of his sharpness, so if he has that kind of motivation it can only be good for us.”
“He’ll bring that enthusiasm. He has leadership qualities and he can score a goal. He’s got great movement and can hurt defenders – he’s a very experienced player.”
The West Midlands side have had to endure speculation on the future of their England international striker Darren Bent throughout the transfer window, with Liverpool reportedly interested in the 27-year-old, yet McLeish is confident he will retain the services of the forward.
McLeish commented: “It’s not frustrating. It’s just the window. It’s good fun. I’m not frustrated by it. People like to speculate, social networks, it’s a field day.”
“Anyone that’s out there that want Benty certainly haven’t contacted me.”
“Benty has said on the record that he wants to stay at the club. You have to take his word for that. Certainly anyone I have asked outside the club – agents etc – is there an interest I have been told flatly no.”
“I have spoken to Kenny (Dalglish, Liverpool manager) and he said there’s nothing in it. That kind of stuff you can’t prevent it. It’s out of my control. I don’t get upset by it.”
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