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‘Influential’ Keane signs new five-year Spurs deal

TOTTENHAM chairman Daniel Levy has underlined his intention to keep the club’s best players at White Hart Lane by agreeing a new five-year deal with Robbie Keane.

Keane’s contract is effectively a two-year extension on the deal he signed last year, rewarding him after his most productive campaign for Spurs since arriving in 2002.

Despite a month out with a knee injury, Keane scored 22 goals last season as Spurs finished fifth in the Barclays Premiership and reached the latter stages of three cups. He formed a terrific understanding with Dimitar Berbatov, who has been the subject of transfer speculation following his impressive rookie season in England.

Levy was resigned to losing Michael Carrick to Manchester United a year ago but is determined to keep Berbatov and Spurs’ other players by securing long-term deals.

"The key to retaining top players is to agree long-term contracts," said Levy.

"We have now done so with several of our existing squad, extending the contracts of Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone, as well as having contracted newer players on long contracts, such as Dimitar Berbatov and Didier Zokora."

Berbatov has three years remaining on his deal and has stressed his commitment to the club. Keeping Keane and Berbatov is seen as part of the plan to break into the Champions League places next season.

"Robbie has been an influential part of our club for five years and this further commitment, on the part of both him and the club, is a recognition of that," said Levy.

Keane added on club’s website, www.tottenhamhotspur.com: "It is an exciting time to be at the club and I am looking forward to even better seasons ahead."

Spurs have already recruited Gareth Bale from Southampton for up to £10million.

Meanwhile, Spurs are among the clubs linked with Sporting Lisbon winger Nani.

The 20-year-old Portugal international is believed to have a clause which would see him leave for £13.5million.