Levy vents anger after 'enforced' £19m sale of Keane

The Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, did not conceal his anger last night after conceding the signature of Robbie Keane to Liverpool for what he described as £19m "compensation" – rising by a possible £1.3m, based on appearances.

Levy accepted that attempting to keep Keane from Liverpool – his childhood team, with their lure of new European horizons – was futile and has agreed not to pursue his official complaint to the Premier League regarding the Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez's public comments on the player's talents, after Liverpool acknowledged that these had been inappropriate and agreed to make a donation to the club's main charity, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

But he clearly believes that contractual obligations – Keane was tied to Spurs until 2010 – and private conversations between clubs about a player's availability stand for nothing. "I was incredibly disappointed when I first heard, not only that Liverpool had been working behind the scenes to bring Robbie to Anfield, but that Robbie himself wanted to go and he submitted a transfer request to this effect," Levy said. "I have already made my opinion clear on the nature of this transaction.

"I don't regard it as a transfer deal – that is something which happens between two clubs when both agree to trade – this is very much an enforced sale."

Levy, who finds himself involved in a desperate search for alternative firepower during which he refuses to countenance realistic discussions about Manchester United's second successive summer approach for Dimitar Berbatov, was infuriated by Benitez's public declaration of interest in Keane three weeks ago, which he considers a "disgraceful" breach of Premier League rules of conduct.

Keane last night attempted, in a description of Levy's conduct, to sweeten the pill. "I would specifically like to thank Daniel Levy for understanding, that, as a fan, joining Liverpool is a lifelong dream of mine and one I couldn't let pass me by," he said. "I hope one day the Spurs fans, who have been brilliant to me, can understand this too." His six years at Spurs were "the most enjoyable of my career to date."

Public censure from Spurs – and after his similar pursuit of Aston Villa's Gareth Barry, a reputation as something of a cuckoo among Premier League managers – is minor collateral damage for Benitez who, in the 28-year-old Keane, has finally landed a player to make good his paucity of goalscoring sources.

There was no more graphic illustration of that shortcoming last season than Andrei Voronin's finishing position alongside Peter Crouch as joint-third top scorer. Crouch's departure to Portsmouth for £11m created an even more urgent needr for someone other than Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to deliver goals for Liverpool and they have laid out a sum second only in the club's history to the £26.5m for Torres on a player who is expected to earn £80,000 a week. Spurs had stalled on Keane's departure while they began the search for a replacement for a player who has been their lead scorer and netted at least 15 times in three of the last four seasons, before bowing to the inevitable.

Keane, who signed after a medical at Melwood yesterday and has all but matched Berbatov, goal for goal, in the past two years, will certainly feel at home around Anfield. He, Gerrard and Jamie Carragher share the same agent in Struan Marshall. Keane recently attended the launch of Carragher's "Carra's Bar" in Liverpool and, to judge by his conversation with Phil Thompson that night, could barely contain his excitement at signing for the club he supported as a child but rejected in favour of Wolves 14 years ago, because he wanted first-team football. A friend of Gerrard Keane may be, but the Liverpool captain might also be mulling over how close they will be positionally, now that Keane has signed in time to join the Liverpool squad for a friendly at Villarreal tomorrow night.

Keane does not play as high up as Berbatov or Torres and operates better as an offensive central midfielder than a winger, so his arrival raises the prospect of Gerrard once again being cast out to the right flank if Benitez deploys them both in a 4-2-3-1 formation – a role which does not best please him.

Benitez, whose pursuit of Barry would appear to be over, will cross that bridge when he reaches it. For now, he can feel satisfied that he has secured the services of a player whose transfer from Coventry to Marcello Lippi's Internazionale for £13m in 2000 revealed his stature.

l Spurs beat Norwich City 5-1 in a friendly last night, with Darren Bent, often behind Keane and Berbatov in the pecking order last season, scoring four.

Anfield on the move Liverpool's transfer dealings this summer


Robbie Keane (striker): £18m from Tottenham

David Ngog: (striker): £1.5m from Paris St-Germain

Emmanuel Mendy (full-back): Free transfer from Murcia Deportivo

Diego Cavalieri (goalkeeper): Undisclosed from PalmeirasAndrea Dossena (full-back): Undisclosed from Udinese

Philipp Degen (full-back): Free transfer from Dortmund


Peter Crouch: £11m to Portsmouth

Scott Carson: £3.25m to West Bromwich

John Arne Riise: £3.9m to Roma

Danny Guthrie: Undisclosed to Newcastle

Harry Kewell: Free transfer to Galatasaray

Anthony Le Tellec: Undisclosed to Le Mans


Gareth Barry (midfielder): Aston Villa.

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor