Birmingham step up Robbie Keane pursuit

Birmingham are keen to know sooner or later whether they can sign Robbie Keane to give them time to pursue other targets if their bid to sign the Tottenham striker falls through.

First team coach Peter Grant expects City to know "in the next few days" about their chances of landing Keane rather than see the deal drag on towards the end of the transfer window.

Blues have been in negotiations with Spurs over a possible £7million deal for the Republic of Ireland international.

But, with manager Alex McLeish keen to sign a proven striker this month, they will look elsewhere if they fail to secure Keane, with Manchester City's Jo another option.

Grant said: "What is the timescale with Keane? I think you will see something in the next few days.

"It can go to the last day in January but I don't think it will go as long as that because you always want answers.

"If it's not Robbie Keane then hopefully it will be the next one, somebody else.

"We know he's a top, top player. We know he's not playing at this moment in time.

"Harry (Redknapp) has made it clear that he would like to sell him as they don't want him any more."

Grant added: "That's a situation the gaffer is looking at but I don't think it will drag.

"Obviously if it's not going to be Robbie, he will want it to be someone else, that's for sure.

"I think that's no different to any clubs at this moment in time. They have targets and, if doesn't happen, they move on and go elsewhere."

Grant worked with Keane as first team coach at Celtic last season when the player was on loan to the Bhoys and believes he still has the hunger to succeed.

But he concedes that the length of contract will have to be finalised should any deal be struck.

Grant said: "I worked with Robbie personally last year and I know what he's like. He's a guy that wants to play football but these guys want as good a deal as anybody does.

"We're all working men. If you're a plumber and somebody says 'we're going to give you a three-year contract or a one- year contract' you're going to look at the one that's going to give you a three-year contract.

"That doesn't change but I know Robbie is hungry to play football and still have that desire."

When asked about being linked with signing Jo, Grant admitted: "He's another one because you look at top quality players that are out the side although he played last night (Wednesday).

"Sometimes you think these guys are out the team and all of a sudden you enquire about them and they say 'no, he's part of the squad.'

"Some guys want to hold on to them because they're involved in Europe and they would rather he was involved in the squad or they want permanent deals.

"But, at this moment in time, the sort of money you're asked for by the likes of Manchester City and everywhere else it's massive money."

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