Belfast Telegraph

Robbie Keane moves to West Ham United

West Ham have completed the loan signing of Robbie Keane from Barclays Premier League rivals Tottenham.



The Hammers have agreed a deal which takes the Republic of Ireland striker initially on loan until the end of the season with a view to making a £6million deal permanent for the next two-and-a-half years, as long as they maintain their top flight status.

Keane said: "I am ready to help West Ham stay in the Premier League, which is the most important thing for this club."

Keane passed a medical on Saturday night and put pen to paper on a contract after watching yesterday's 3-2 defeat of Nottingham Forest which puts the Hammers in the last 16 of the FA Cup.

He said: "I am really pleased to have signed and now I just can't wait to start training and playing football.

"I feel as fit as I ever have done in my life and I feel I have plenty left to offer at the highest level for at least the next four or five years.

"I want to help anywhere I can help the football club, whether that is in training, in the dressing room or on the pitch on a matchday. We have some good players here and I am sure we can stay up.

"When I went on loan to Celtic I scored 17 goals in 19 games and if I can do even half as well as I did there, then I'll be happy."

Hammers boss Avram Grant believes the 30-year-old is just the character the Hammers need in their fight against relegation.

Grant said: "He (Keane) is not just a good player, he is a good character that we need in the next 14 games."

Keane is the fourth arrival at Upton Park in the current transfer window, joining defender Wayne Bridge, midfielder Gary O'Neil and fellow forward Demba Ba.

He could make his debut in Wednesday's match at Blackpool.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa midfielder Stephen Ireland was last night on the verge of moving to Newcastle on loan as he underwent a medical at St James' Park.

The 24-year-old was in the north-east as manager Alan Pardew looked to bolster his squad for the remainder of the season. Sources on Tyneside are hopeful that a deal can be struck ahead of tonight's transfer deadline.

Ireland would become Pardew's second January signing after Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa completed a permanent move.

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