Aston Villa's bid to acquire Galaxy forward Robbie Keane in a two-month loan deal appears to be near completion, with speculation in the British and Irish press that the move will be finalized by early next week.
Villa manager Alex McLeish suggested as much when he spoke to media Friday in Birmingham.
“[The deal] is not far away, but I don't like to commit myself until it actually is done,” McLeish said. “[Our] club have sanctioned the deal. They didn't think it was too bad an idea or too big a risk. ... Robbie has got good experience, he is good in the dressing room and he is highly motivated. He has got a certain competition to play at the end of the season with [Ireland, at Euro 2012], so he wants to maintain his level. He wants to come here, and we would be trying to get things cleared for next week."
The Irish Central website reported the loan fee would approach $1 million for as few as six games. British wire service The Press Association on Thursday priced the deal at nearly $775,000.
Dublin daily Evening Herald reported that Liverpool also is interested in Keane, as a replacement for Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, who was handed an eight-game suspension for racist behavior.
Aston Villa hopes to have Keane ready for its next Premier League match, Jan. 14 against Everton, which has Galaxy captain Landon Donovan on loan.
If Keane were to join Villa, he would available for these games:
Jan. 14 vs. Everton
Jan. 21 at Wolverhampton
Jan. 28 FA Cup fourth round (if Villa beats Bristol Rovers on Saturday)
Feb. 1 vs. Queens Park Rangers
Feb. 5 at Newcastle United
Feb. 12 vs. Manchester City
Feb. 18 FA Cup round of 16 (potential)
Feb. 25 at Wigan Athletic
The Galaxy will begin preseason preparations later this month. They'll open the Major League Soccer season March 10 against Real Salt Lake at Home Depot Center, three days after their first-leg match at Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League.
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