Robbie Keane is returning to English football -- that has been confirmed. That prospective loan deal to Aston Villa? That's something else.
Keane, 31, is joining Tottenham, the London-based club he left in August to sign with the Galaxy, for training through Jan. 20, Spurs officials announced Tuesday. He then, according to plan, would return to Southern California for the opening of the Galaxy's preseason camp.
Aston Villa, according to British media reports, hopes he'll stick around a little bit longer. Alex McLeish, the Birmingham-based club's manager, who tried to sign the Irish striker last January, apparently wants to bring Keane in on a two-month loan deal.
The Irish Daily Star on Tuesday reported that L.A. is willing to agree to terms with Aston Villa, but the Galaxy have nothing to say on the matter and McLeish has refused to comment.
L.A. opens its quarterfinal home-and-home in the CONCACAF Champions League on March 7 in Toronto, and the Major League Soccer season begins March 10.
UPDATE (3:05 p.m.): Tim Leiweke said Tuesday that the Galaxy would consider loaning Keane to a club in England.
“Only if Robbie wants to do it,” said Leiweke, president of club owner AEG. “And for us, it's an opportunity for Robbie from a conditioning standpoint, to stay healthy and in shape.”
Landon Donovan already is on loan in England, with Everton, and Leiweke mentioned central defender Omar Gonzalez as he noted that it was “amazing, I've never seen so many teams asking for loan agreements” on Galaxy players. He said any loan, any player, would require a late February return.