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Wednesday, January 5, 2011
ESPNsoccernet: January 6, 9:15 AM UK
Birmingham in Keane talks

ESPNsoccernet staff

Birmingham City have confirmed they are in talks with Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane and are reported to be closing in on a 7 million deal.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has made it clear Keane can leave White Hart Lane in the January transfer window if the right deal emerges.

Relegation-threatened West Ham and Aston Villa have both been linked with a move for the 30-year-old but Blues appear to be in pole-position with up to 8 million at manager Alex McLeish's disposal.

Redknapp confirmed after Tottenham's 2-1 defeat to Everton on Wednesday, in which Keane played ten minutes, that Birmingham had made a bid.

"They have made an offer, about 7million, but it is up to Robbie," Redknapp said. "If he doesn't go to Birmingham, he will either leave permanently or stay here. He certainly won't be going on loan anywhere, not a chance.''

The more conservative McCleish was not prepared to mention Keane directly but he said: "It is not fair to name names. We are working actively, the board and myself, to try and enhance the striking positions. We know we haven't scored enough goals. That is something we have to rectify in the second half of the season. We know that. We know our targets and we've got to go for them.''

Bosnia striker Nikola Zigic, signed from Valencia for 6 million in the summer, has struggled to adapt to the Premier League and Birmingham are short on goals this season.

Midfielder Craig Gardner is the top scorer with just five goals and McLeish has become frustrated at his side's inability to convert their chances. Cameron Jerome has failed to reproduce the form which brought him 11 Premier League goals last season while Kevin Phillips is now at the veteran age of 37.

Republic of Ireland international Keane, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Celtic, has slipped down the pecking order at White Hart Lane and is desperate to play regular first team football.

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