Harry Redknapp eyes MLS for loan targets

December 8, 2012
By ESPN.com news services

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp plans to raid Major League Soccer for loan players in the January transfer window, with Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane the top of his wish list.

Redknapp will meet next week with QPR owner Tony Fernandes for the first time since he replaced Mark Hughes as QPR boss a fortnight ago.

Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesHarry Redknapp said Robbie Keane is at the top of his wish list of loan targets.

Conscious he has inherited a squad that has looked porous at the back and weak up front, Redknapp plans to impress upon the Malaysian businessman that he needs reinforcements to avoid taking the London club down to the second-tier Championship.

Redknapp is also aware that Fernandes has already pumped millions in to a largely unsuccessful project, and is likely therefore to limit his activity to loan deals.

Tim Cahill and Landon Donovan were also mentioned, but the player who Redknapp is most interested in is Keane, who he signed for Spurs in 2009.

"The MLS market is one that we've got to look at," Redknapp said. "Robbie's a good shout. He probably would be an interesting player. I haven't spoken to him yet, no, but he would be an interesting player. He's a good pro and he would be the ideal type to have around for sure because he would give us something."

Keane left Tottenham for the Los Angeles Galaxy last year but returned to England and enjoyed a successful short-term loan spell at Aston Villa last January, scoring three times in seven games.

Donovan, Keane's Galaxy teammate, has expressed interest in resting this winter rather than returning for a third loan spell in England.

Chris Samba, who left Blackburn for Anzhi Makhachkala last summer, is another of Redknapp's targets, though he conceded a move for the center back was unlikely because of his astronomical wages at the Russian club.

Redknapp also suggested he could be tempted to make a play for Nicolas Anelka if the former Chelsea striker becomes available in January.

Anelka turned his back on the Premier League last season after securing a lucrative move to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. But there are claims that the former Manchester City and Real Madrid striker has grown unhappy with life in Asia and is considering a return to Europe.

"He is a good player, a quality player," Redknapp said. "If he's available he will be of interest to people. As far as I know he's gone to China -- I don't know what the situation is with that."

Another more realistic option for Redknapp is Spurs winger David Bentley, whose loan deal with Russian club FC Rostov ends in January.

Although Bentley earned a place in Redknapp's bad books by soaking him live on television with a big bucket of water in 2010, the 65-year-old still holds the winger in high esteem.

Indeed Redknapp is so enthused at the prospect of being reunited with Bentley he accidentally called him David Beckham this afternoon.

"Yeah, he can play, David Beckham," Redknapp said, before correcting himself. "Bentley's a good player. It shows that he must have wanted to play football to go to Russia so credit to him. He could have stayed and took his money but he's gone out to Russia. Dave's a good footballer -- I haven't had problems with him. He was unlucky at Tottenham because he had Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale (in front of him)."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.