In-demand Robbie Keane eager to carry on

Robbie Keane is determined to play on for at least another 18 months and is considering options in England and further afield.

In-demand Robbie Keane eager to carry on

But not quite as far as China, the Irish football legend has joked.

“If you pay me the money that Costa could be getting, I’ll walk there now,” he laughed.

“No, no, no… The Chinese league is nowhere close to the Premier League. He’s scoring goals in the Premier League and there’s no question he would score a hatful of goals over there.

“He has to ask himself the question: ‘Do I really want to leave?’ This is a great chance for Chelsea to win the league but if you get offered £400,000 (€460,000) a week, it’s absolutely ludicrous, so what does he do?

“I’m at a stage where I’ll miss that boat at my age, but you have to weigh up all the situations. You have to see what’s best for your family situation. The money is crazy.”

The 36-year-old former LA Galaxy man said of his own immediate playing future: “I’ve been fortunate to have had a few offers in England and also from abroad. I’ve knocked back a couple which may be a bit too far away.”

Reports have linked the record-breaking striker to a number of clubs, including Preston.

He was also asked in an interview on talkSPORT about Celtic as a possible destination.

“I think they’re doing okay at the moment,” he said with another laugh. “What is it, 18 points clear? I don’t think they need a striker.

“I’ve got a few offers on the table,” he elaborated. “I’ve been getting a lot of people asking me to come back to Leeds and Wolves. They’re great clubs but you can’t go somewhere where people don’t offer you (a deal). There’s been a few offers in the Championship and also here and there, but I’ve definitely not heard from Leeds or Wolves at the moment.”

Keane added: “I think I’d be fine (back in English football). I keep myself fit and the hunger and desire, I’ve always had that, and I’ve always scored goals where I’ve gone. I’ve no question in my mind that I can do it.”

Meanwhile, he believes that the MLS he leaves behind — and which he graced with such distinction — is at a delicate stage in its development.

“I think they have to be very careful now,” he said. “The MLS, when I went there in, was starting to really grow. But you have to be careful when big players leave. People want to go and watch big name players. You would have had myself, Gerrard and Lampard and we’re gone. There are others drifting out.

“I’m a little worried to be honest (about the MLS).”

Asked about Ireland’s World Cup qualification hopes and the prospect of Gareth Bale being fit for the game against Wales in March, the national team’s former skipper said: “I was with Martin (O’Neill) and Roy (Keane) on Friday at the (soccer writers’) awards and we spoke about it. Bale will be a massive problem of course but Ireland are top of the group. People are saying that we’re not playing too well but we’ve never played great over the years yet we always nick results.

“The most important thing is getting to these competitions. We’ve a great chance of getting there as we’re looking strong. Wales is a tough game but I’m excited about the rest of the campaign.”

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