Robbie Keane is heading back where it all began for the Irish striker, hopeful of aiding a return to the Premier League for his Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Keane has two goals in four matches for Atlético de Kolkata in the Indian Super League, but Wolverhampton reporter Tim Nash says they will give him an early release.
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The 37-year-old striker scored 29 goals in 87 games for Wolves from 1997-99 before embarking on a glistening career which took him to Tottenham, Liverpool, Celtic, West Ham, and the LA Galaxy.
Wolves have a 12-point lead on Derby County and are 14 points ahead of third- and fourth-placed Cardiff City and Bristol City in the Football League Championship.
Robbie Keane’s next stop looks like being the United Arab Emirates.
Keane, 36, has been spotted in Dubai in a training session with Al Ahli Club.
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The photos below show Keane training in Dubai on Monday, with the club stating “Irish star Robbie Keane participates in morning drills.”
It is unclear whether or not Keane is set to sign for Al Ahli or is just getting in some warm weather training. The Dubai club have Asamoah Gyan as their star striker and currently sit in fourth place in the UAE Arabian Gulf League.
With his days at the LA Galaxy over after he left following the 2016 MLS season, rumors have persisted that the prolific Irish striker will land with another team in MLS. He has also been linked with plenty of teams in England as a short-term option for the summer.
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Following his stellar time with the Galaxy, Keane’s stock is incredibly high in MLS. He is arguably the greatest Designated Player, in terms of output, to ever play in MLS. He scored 104 goals in 165 appearances in all competitions for LA in his five years in California. Does he have more to offer to other MLS teams? Certainly. It will be intriguing to see if he gets a chance to move back to North America in the coming months.
Keane, the all-time leading goalscorer for the Republic of Ireland with 68 goals in 148 appearances, has recently stated that he’s looking for a new team and is open to all options and seeing what is our there.
He’s certainly true to his word.
Robbie Keane is still sorting out his future, and it seems unlikely he’s heading back to the past.
Keane is training in Dublin ahead of a return to the pitch. The 36-year-old striker left the LA Galaxy this offseason, and says he’s had several offers from Championship squads in England as well as a few clubs abroad.
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Although he’s starred for Wolverhampton and Leeds, destinations where fans would welcome his arrival, Keane says not to hold your breath.
“I’ve had a lot of people asking me about coming back to Leeds and Wolves, and they’re great clubs I’ve played for, but you can’t go somewhere if people actually don’t offer you anything.
“Until it’s actually in writing to me I can’t comment much on it, but I definitely haven’t heard from Leeds or Wolves.”
Whether Stateside or in England, Keane can still have an impact on a team’s fortunes. We look forward to seeing him back on the field, and to hear some more quips as well.
Consider his answer to whether he’d entertain an offer from China:
“If they gave the money Diego Costa was offered, I’d walk there now,” Keane said.
Time flies by when you’re having fun, and since the Major League Soccer’s inclusion of the Designated Player (aka the Beckham Rule) 10 years ago the league has seen its share of exciting moments because of the addition.
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Since the arrival of David Beckham back in 2007, the former England international paved the way for MLS sides signing lucrative players both domestically and abroad.
While U.S. Men’s National Team stars like Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan have graced the pitch in MLS, the implementation of the DP rule has seen some of the world’s biggest names also come stateside.
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Sebastian Giovinco and David Villa have put up astounding goal totals since joining MLS two seasons ago from Europe, while the longevity of Robbie Keane and Bradley Wright-Phillips’ careers in America have dazzled supporters as well.
With that said, the PST staff takes the look at their top ranked Designated Players over the past 10 seasons.
1. Robbie Keane
2. Landon Donovan
3. Clint Dempsey
4. Sebastian Giovinco
5. Bradley Wright-Phillips
6. Thierry Henry
7. Guillermo Barros Schelotto
8. David Villa
9. David Beckham
10. Juan Pablo Angel
1. Landon Donovan
2. Robbie Keane
3. Guillermo Barros Schelotto
4. Sebastian Giovinco
5. David Beckham
6. David Villa
7. Thierry Henry
8. Clint Dempsey
9. Obafemi Martins
10. Diego Valeri
1. Landon Donovan
2. Robbie Keane
3. Sebastian Giovinco
4. Thierry Henry
5. Guillermo Barros Schelotto
6. David Beckham
7. David Villa
8. Cuauhtemoc Blanco
9. Clint Dempsey
10. Ignacio Piatti
Robbie Keane’s next endeavor could very well continue in Major League Soccer, as one of the league’s latest expansion sides has reportedly shown interest in the out-of-work striker.
Atlanta United FC, which will make its entry into MLS next season, has reportedly placed an offer for Keane, according to Twitter account @MLSTransfers.
Atlanta would likely have to use a Designated Player contract to obtain Keane ahead of the 2017 season. Gerardo Martino’s side has already acquired one DP in the build up to its inaugural season in MLS after signing former Premier League striker Kenwyne Jones in July 2016.
The 36-year-old has played in MLS since 2011 when Keane arrived on the scene for the LA Galaxy. In that span, Keane notched 104 goals for the Western Conference side and helped Bruce Arena’s club to three MLS Cup titles.