Football: Blackburn make their move for Keane

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The Independent Online
KENNY DALGLISH is set to break the British transfer record in his attempt to bring Roy Keane to Blackburn Rovers. Dalglish, who spent pounds 3.6m on the England striker Alan Shearer, will probably have to go to pounds 4m to secure the Nottingham Forest midfield player.

Keane, the 21-year-old Republic of Ireland international, has agreed personal terms with the Rovers manager but will not put pen to paper until he speaks to other interested clubs. Manchester United and Aston Villa are now thought to be the only two English teams who have the persuasive powers and the finance to make Keane change his mind about a move to Ewood Park, financed by Jack Walker's millions.

'Blackburn have offered me a four-year contract and I have agreed personal terms,' he said. 'The manager assures me that he wants the club to be up there challenging for major honours with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa. He wants Blackburn to have a squad capable of winning the League and Cup double.

'Blackburn are the first club to talk to me and there was no problem agreeing personal terms. I did not put pen to paper out of courtesy to the other clubs who have shown an interest.'

Asked whether he had considered moving abroad, Keane, now on holiday in his native Cork, said: 'I believe it would be a better career move for me to stay in England. Perhaps I can think about moving to Italy in two or three years time.'

Andy Roxburgh, the Scotland coach, has added Ian Ferguson of Rangers and Stewart McKimmie, the Aberdeen full-back, to his squad for Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match against Estonia at Pittodrie. Aberdeen's Stephen Wright has withdrawn.