Soccer: Liverpool sign Ireland striker Keane from Spurs
Tue, Jul 29, 2008

LONDON - LIVERPOOL have signed Ireland captain Robbie Keane from Tottenham Hotspur for 19 million pounds (S$52 million), the Premier League clubs said on Monday.

The 28-year-old striker, who spent six years at the London club and is Ireland's all-time highest goalscorer with 33 goals, has signed a four-year contract with the Anfield club.

Tottenham announced details of the deal on their website (http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com), saying it could rise to 20.3 million pounds and added their disappointment in the manner the transfer was conducted.

'I was incredibly disappointed when I first heard, not only that Liverpool had been working behind the scenes to bring Robbie to Anfield, but that Robbie himself wanted to go and he submitted a transfer request,' chairman Daniel Levy said.

'I have already made my opinion clear on the nature of this transaction. I don't regard it as a transfer deal - that is something which happens between two clubs when they both agree to trade - this is very much an enforced sale.'

Tottenham reported Liverpool to the Premier League over their pursuit of Keane last week but have agreed to drop the complaint after their rivals apologised for the way its website reported comments made by manager Rafa Benitez.

Lifelong dream
Keane, who won his first major trophy in Tottenham's League Cup triumph last season, thanked Levy and the club.

'I would like to place on record my thanks to the board, players and fans of Tottenham for the past six years, which were the best and most enjoyable of my career to date,' the former Leeds United striker said in a statement.

'I will never forget them. I would specifically like to thank chairman Daniel Levy for understanding, that, as a fan, joining Liverpool is a lifelong dream of mine and one I couldn't let pass me by.'

The fee brings the total spent on Keane, who spent a brief period at Inter Milan under World Cup winning coach Marcelo Lippi after spells at Wolverhampton Wanderers and Coventry City, to 57 million pounds.

He scored 107 times for Tottenham, taking him to 12th in the Premier League's highest scorers list with 105 goals and is one of only 13 players to reach the century mark since the league was formed 16 years ago.

Keane becomes Liverpool's fifth major pre-season signing following the arrivals of David Ngog, Diego Cavalieri, Philipp Degen and Andrea Dossena. -- REUTERS

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