Liverpool's out of favour striker Robbie Keane has been offered an escape route by Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp.
The £20.3m Anfield misfit left White Hart Lane in the summer but has struggled to make his impact felt at Liverpool and reportedly boycotted Sunday's 1-1 draw with Everton following a bust-up with Rafa Benitez.
Redknapp has already brought Pascal Chimbonda and Jermaine Defoe back to Tottenham during the January transfer window and the Spurs boss has praised Keane's "fantastic" qualities as he sounds out Liverpool about a possible sale.
"As a player and a person I have a lot of time for Robbie Keane," Redknapp said. "I think he's fantastic."
"I wouldn't sit here and say I wouldn't like to have Robbie Keane at my football club, I'd be a liar, but he belongs to Liverpool so it is not an option unfortunately," Redknapp added.
While the Tottenham manager's comments may also appear to rule out an imminent approach for the Republic of Ireland international, he made similar statements whilst testing Portsmouth's resolve over the sale of Defoe.
And as with that transfer, the original sale of the player could work in Tottenham's favour. Spurs are likely to offer Liverpool a small sum and waive the £10m outstanding balance of Keane's summer sale.
Boyhood Liverpool fan Keane could be receptive to a move back to White Hart Lane as Benitez has failed to provide regular first team football at Anfield and with Fernando Torres return to fitness things came to ahead prior to the Merseyside derby when Keane's place on the bench was taken by teenage striker David Ngog.
Tottenham can expect a challenge for the 28-year-old's signature from Manchester City.