Spurs end Keane deal

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The Independent Football

Tottenham Hotspur have resigned themselves to not bringing Robbie Keane back to the club this month. They were told yesterday that Liverpool want their £20.3m fee back in full if they were to let the striker go back to White Hart Lane and Spurs are not prepared to pay.

A number of different options had been previously discussed between the clubs, including deals involving Aaron Lennon and Jermaine Jenas and the cancellation of the outstanding £11m balance payable to Spurs on Keane's transfer. However, the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was told yesterday by Liverpool that they want a straight money offer or there will be no deal.

Keane is understood to want to try to establish himself at Liverpool, despite his dispiriting start. The player is also understood to be considering the possibility that Rafael Benitez may leave in the summer which would allow him to establish himself under a different manager. Of his 22 starts for Liverpool, Keane has completed 90 minutes just five times. He has featured in just three of their last six games and his relationship with Benitez is fraught. That leaves Spurs with just one more major target, the Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, whose asking price of £22m is way above what Spurs can afford. Consequently, Redknapp knows that he may have to finish the season with the strikers currently at his disposal. Spurs fear that even if they made a serious bid for Santa Cruz, Manchester City will still trump them before the transfer deadline on Monday. Redknapp has also ended his interest in the Lyons striker Fred – full name Frederico Chaves Guedes – after the Brazilian and his brother, who represents him, failed to turn up to a meeting on Tuesday. Redknapp is also resolved not to allow the midfielder Tom Huddlestone to leave after inquiries from Newcastle United and Fulham. Huddlestone, 22, is regarded as a part of Redknapp's long-term plans despite the signing of Wilson Palacios in the central midfield position. Spurs believe that selling him to one of their relegation rivals would be a bad move with the bottom of the league so tight. The player signed a new five-year deal in June.

* The Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou is being investigated by the Football Association for his crossed-wrists gesture after scoring against Middlesbrough on Wednesday night. The player has denied the suggestion that it was a show of solidarity with the Ivory Coast activist and journalist Antoine Assalé Tiémoko, who had been imprisoned for criticism of the country's government. Celebrations of a political nature are not allowed.

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