Liverpool on the verge of signing Spurs' Keane

2008-07-29 00:52:25 GMT       2008-07-29 08:52:25 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 29 -- Liverpool is close to signing Robbie Keane from Tottenham after the Ireland captain had a medical examination with the club.

The teams agreed to a transfer fee over the weekend, rumored to be about 18 million pounds (35.8 million U.S. dollars), after the striker decided to accept an offer to join the club he supported as a boy.

The 28-year-old Keane has been with Spurs for six years, his longest ever spell with a team following stints with Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan and Leeds, and last season became the 15th player to hit 100 goals for the club.

He helped Tottenham win the League Cup last season with victory over Chelsea, with his lengthy and enthusiastic celebratory jig on the Wembley pitch further cementing his status as a popular player with the Spurs fans.

Ireland's record scorer with 33 goals, Keane has two years remaining on his Tottenham contract.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton was released from jail yesterday after serving 2-1/2 months of a six-month sentence for attacking a teenager last year.

The 25-year-old, who has played once for England, left Strangeways prison in Manchester yesterday after serving 74 days for the attack. He was driven off in a silver Land Rover. The attack in Liverpool last December was captured on CCTV cameras.

Barton admitted assault and affray in April for the attack, which was branded a "violent and cowardly act" by a judge. Earlier this month Barton was back in court and given a four-month sentence, suspended for two years, for assaulting teammate Ousmane Dabo when they were both at Manchester City in May 2007.

Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan said on Sunday that Barton still had a future with the club. On Monday Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said he welcomed Keegan's decision to give Barton a second chance.

Taylor told the BBC: "To some extent I'm glad that he still has some faith in him. Joey's been running out of last chances.

"From that point of view it may have been the time when Newcastle would have said 'we can't stand for this' and move him on but hopefully Kevin thinks he can work his oracle with Joey and Joey will get his life back on track both as a human being and as a footballer."

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

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