Keane in Milan to finalise £12m deal

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Robbie Keane flew out to Milan last night to complete a move to Internazionale which will see his value double after just one season in the Premier League.

Robbie Keane flew out to Milan last night to complete a move to Internazionale which will see his value double after just one season in the Premier League.

Coventry City's 20-year-old striker was taken out of training yesterday and told he could speak to the Serie A side after they tabled a £12m offer.

A Coventry spokesman said: "Robbie came to the training ground this morning but left early to speak to his agent and is now going to Italy to talk with Inter."

Keane will discuss personal terms with Inter's representatives, but appears certain to sign. Keane cost Coventry £6m from Wolves in August 1999.

Liverpool are ready to sell David Thompson to Coventry for £2.75m. The home-grown winger has been cleared for talks with City's manager, Gordon Strachan, over the weekend.

Didier Deschamps will complete a £2.3m move to Valencia next week after Chelsea agreed the switch with the Spaniards. The French captain, who led his country to Euro 2000 glory, asked for a move after failing to settle comfortably into English football.

The Chelsea managing director, Colin Hutchinson, said that he sanctioned the sale of Deschamps with regret because he believed the Frenchman still had plenty to offer as a player or, in future, as a coach.

Hutchinson said: "Didier is a great professional and still a very good player as he proved at Euro 2000. Perhaps because of the length of time he spent in Italy, he didn't adapt to the English game as well as he would have liked last season, but I still believe, if he had stayed at Chelsea, he would have done better in the coming season.

"He sat down with me three months before the end of last season and explained his reasons, which were personal. It certainly wasn't that he didn't like Chelsea or that he didn't like English football. But he said, if the right opportunity came, would we allow him to go. Reluctantly, I agreed to that."

The Manchester City manager, Joe Royle, has not given up on signing Ugo Ehiogu, despite having a £6m bid rejected by Aston Villa. Royle said: "We have never denied that we have made a substantial bid for Ehiogu but Aston Villa still have certain things to sort out. There has been no further contact and we are waiting for Villa. But I am still hopeful."

The Middlesbrough manager, Bryan Robson, is to sign the Coventry striker Noel Whelan in a £2.5m deal. Whelan was heading for Boro last night to complete the transfer.

The Turkish defender Alpay has been given clearance to begin his Aston Villa career. The Department for Education and Employment confirmed yesterday he had been granted a work permit. The permit is for four years, the length of his contract after a £5.6m deal had been agreed with Fenerbahce.

The Aston Villa manager, John Gregory, has told David Ginola that tomorrow is the last day for him to decide if he wants to join the club. Gregory insists that unless Ginola says he wants to join Villa the proposed £3m move is off.

Wes Brown and Jesper Blomqvist look set for a return to action with Manchester United this weekend as they try to put last season's injury problems behind them.

The pair should play some part in either the friendly against York City at Bootham Crescent today or during tomorrow's trip to Shrewsbury.

* The Dutch international winger Boudewijn Zenden admitted yesterday that his transfer from Barcelona to Lazio has stalled. The two clubs had appeared to have reached agreement over a transfer fee of 2.150 million pesetas (£7.8m) two weeks ago, but Zenden blamed Lazio for failing to complete the deal.