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29 Jul 2008 08:42
Liverpool have signed striker Robbie Keane from Premier League rivals Tottenham on a four-year deal, a statement on the Anfield club’s website said on Monday.
The Republic of Ireland striker underwent a medical at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground on Monday and the 28-year-old was then given the all-clear to move to Anfield for a fee of £19-million, rising to £20,3-million dependent on bonuses.
Keane scored 15 league goals last season and his move to Liverpool could now see him partner Fernando Torres up front with Reds boss Rafael Benitez looking to increase his strike power in a quest to bring the title back to Anfield.
Tottenham chairperson Daniel Levy was far from happy at the way in which Liverpool had signed up his club captain, and Keane, in a statement, did his best to soften the blow by saying: “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.
“I will never forget them,” added Keane, who last season helped Tottenham win the League Cup.
“I would specifically like to thank chairperson 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.
“I hope one day the Spurs fans, who have been brilliant to me, can understand this too.
“I have only good things to say about my time at Tottenham and expect them to go from strength to strength under Juande Ramos and Daniel Levy.”
Earlier, an angry Levy said: “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 to this effect.
“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.
But Levy did say Tottenham would not pursue their official complaint to the Premier League, having been angered by remarks from Benitez after Liverpool acknowledged the way its website reported those comments was inappropriate.
Keane, who has also played for Inter Milan and Leeds, could link-up with his new teammates on Tuesday in Spain, where Benitez’s side are currently on a pre-season tour, and make his debut for the club in Wednesday’s friendly against Villarreal.—Sapa-AFP
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