Aston Villa Transfer News: Robbie Keane Close to Loan Move

Michael Doyle@@michael92doyleContributor IIIJanuary 9, 2012

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 15:  Robbie Keane of Republic of Ireland applauds the fans during the EURO 2012 Qualifier Play Off Second Leg match between Republic of Ireland and Estonia at Aviva Stadium on November 15, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Former Tottenham, Liverpool and Leeds striker Robbie Keane, currently playing for L.A. Galaxy in the MLS, looks set to return to the Premier League with Aston Villa on a short loan deal. 

According to Sky Sports, Keane could move to Villa in the next 24 hours, meaning that he could make his debut against Everton on Saturday. 

Keane joined L.A. Galaxy in August of last year and has been impressing in America since the move, helping the Galaxy to win the MLS Cup in November. 

But Keane has been looking to return to the Premier League on a short-term loan deal and has been training recently with former side Tottenham to gain fitness. Alex McLeish, who tried to sign Keane last season when he was manager of Birmingham, looks set to sign him for about two months.

The Irishman wants to get games under his belt as he prepares not only for the new MLS season (which starts in March) but also for the European Championships in the summer, as he leads his Ireland team to a major international tournament for the first time in 10 years. 

At a time when many players are joining the Premier League on short-term loans from MLS teams—such as Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan—Keane moves to Villa, where he will play alongside many of his Irish national teammates, including Shay Given and Richard Dunne.

And he is likely to see plenty of playing time, considering that Villa lack depth up front beyond Gabriel Agbonlahor and Darren Bent.

He has plenty of Premier League experience—having spent most of his career in the English top flight, playing for Spurs, West Ham, Liverpool, Leeds United and Coventry—and has gathered a reputation as one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League, particularly during his first spell at Tottenham. 

Although the 31-year-old is past his best and playing football abroad, he is still capable of leading the line for a Premier League side and provides experience for a young Villa side, who are 13th in the Premier League. 

While the loan won't be a long one and will most likely end before the start of the MLS season, Keane could make an impact at Villa at a crucial stage in the season.

They are just seven points away from the relegation places and face a tricky end of the season, so they have to get enough points in the next weeks to get away from trouble.