Robbie Keane To Sign for Liverpool "in Next 48 Hours"

Matt DaltonContributor IJuly 19, 2008

Liverpool will tie up a deal with Robbie Keane in "the next 48 hours," according to the Liverpool Echo. Reports suggest that Spurs have given up in the struggle to keep Keane, resigned to the fact that he will now leave for his boyhood heroes.

Keane is held in very high regard by Benitez and is thought to be prepared to pay up to £15m up front with a potential further £5m, depending on successes such as the coveted Premier League title.

It has been reported that Spurs "need to balance the books," and this has buoyed Rafa's quest to find the perfect foil for Fernando Torres.

With Peter Crouch now having left and Andriy Voronin reported to be going to Hamburg for around £3m, Liverpool will be left with just Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt as recognised first-choice options.

Although Krisztian Nemeth and Daniel Pacheco are held in high regard at Anfield, it is believed that this season will be a bit too soon for them to take to the challenge.

Juande Ramos, Spurs' boss, has seemingly resigned himself to the fact that Tottenham cannot compete with the Big Four and, at times, will be forced to cash in on their prized assets for the good of the club.

"For the moment they are with us, but whatever happens the idea is to have a great squad, with the potential to allow us to aim to improve on what we managed last season.

"We have to be realistic and see what we are starting with and whom we are competing against.

"There are some big clubs who have spent a lot of money over many years and have a certain advantage. In fact, they claim they want to sign some of our players.

"At Tottenham, we have had a clear philosophy regarding buying and selling for years. The idea is signing young players, promising and talented ones, and if important offers for older players are made, studying it to see what is the best for the club."

Keane was signed by Glenn Hoddle for £7m back in 2002 and has since been a loyal servant to a club that has always struggled to match their own ambitions, let alone his. At 28 years of age, Keane is now entering his prime but, at a potential £20m, the offer could prove too lucrative for Ramos.

With Berbatov and Bent also set to leave for a combined fee of about £30m and Younnes Kaboul, Pascal Chimbonda, Steed Malbranque and Teemu Tainio seemingly in line for a combined £23m transfer to Sunderland, Ramos will finally have the money at his disposal to shape the squad in the way he sees fit.

If Benitez has his way then he may well have his man in time for the friendly against Hertha Berlin on Tuesday.

Having scored 169 goals in a 352-game career to date, Keane is widely respected and feared, but it is not just his goalscoring potential that has caught the eye of Benitez. He can see the potentially lethal combination of a prized trio in Gerrard, Keane, and Torres.