irishman left out

Liverpool striker Keane suffers fresh snub

February 1, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Robbie Keane could make a dramatic return to Spurs after he was not included in Liverpool's squad to play Chelsea on Sunday.

GettyImagesControversy surrounds Liverpool striker Keane

The striker has again been left out of Rafa Benitez's 18-man side to face the Blues at Anfield and could be on the verge of an amazing return to Spurs in the next 24 hours.

The Reds boss left Keane out of the squad last Sunday for the 1-1 draw against Everton in the FA Cup but he insisted on Friday that the Republic of Ireland star had been training well and he "thought" he remained a part of the long-term future at the club.

However, having again been overlooked by the Spaniard, speculation has fuelled talk that Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will sign the striker for around £15million after he made it clear in the week he was a big fan of the 28-year-old.

Keane only moved from White Hart Lane, for a fee of £20.3m, in the summer, but Redknapp is keen to bolster his strikeforce after news that Jermain Defoe will be out for four weeks.

Keane, a boyhood Liverpool fan, will be distraught at having to leave but has been unhappy at the deeplying role he has been asked to play according to the Daily Mail. Benitez indicated on Saturday that he had not sanctioned paying £20m for Keane, insisting: ''The club spent it.''

The boss is apparently indifferent as to whether Keane attends the Chelsea game, saying: ''It's a day off for the players not in the squad. We don't insist they come to the game.''

It's thought Liverpool's owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who are due on Merseyside for the Chelsea game, will only consider selling Keane if a replacement can be found but this will be difficult with the transfer window closing at 5pm on Monday.

The American pair are also hoping to finally sort out Benitez's own uncertain future on Sunday by offering him an improved contract - which the boss is expected to sign.

Benitez had asked for more control of the transfer budget and it's believed the pair have agreed to his requests and will offer him a new, long-term deal under the conditions Benitez has asked for.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Kuyt, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera, Gerrard, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, Dossena, Agger, Benayoun, Babel, Leiva Lucas, Ngog.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Anelka, Malouda. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Drogba, Ferreira, Deco, Mancienne, Stoch.

Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire)