Tuesday Kickoff: Aston Villa eyes Keane loan, Rooney back for United and more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Following Landon Donovan's loan to Everton and Thierry Henry's reported loan to Arsenal, a third MLS Designated Player could be on his way to the Premier League this winter, as Aston Villa is reportedly looking to sign Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane to a two-month loan deal.

The Ireland captain, who is currently training with former club Tottenham during the MLS offseason according to the BBC, is reportedly interested in the move as an opportunity to keep fit in the build-up to Euro 2012. Should a deal not go through, Keane will be in London for the next three weeks before returning to Los Angeles.

Villa manager Alex McLeish almost signed Keane while he was manager of Birmingham City but the deal broke down in the final stages of the negotiation. McLeish has confirmed it is unlikely funds will be made available to bring in new signings in January, and Keane could help a side that has scored a meager 22 goals this season and sits 12th in the Premier League table.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

ROONEY AVAILABLE AGAINST NEWCASTLE

Wayne Rooney will be available for selection for Wednesday's vital Premier League matchup with Newcastle after the England forward was suspended for Saturday's loss to Blackburn. Rooney was dropped from the side and fined a week's wages after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was unhappy with his performance in training following a night out.

Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs are game-time decisions for the game after concerns arose about their fitness.

MCCLAREN SET TO RETURN TO TWENTE

Steve McClaren's roller-coaster ride in management appears to have taken him back to Holland, where the former England manager will reportedly take charge of FC Twente less than 18 months after leading the club to a league and cup double.

McClaren, 50, managed Twente for two seasons after a disastrous tenure at the helm of England, which saw the Three Lions miss out on Euro 2008. His success with Twente did not last, as he was fired from subsequent posts at VfL Wolfsburg in Germany and most recently Nottingham Forest of the English Championship. Should he sign on with Twente again, McClaren would replace ousted coach Co Adriaanse.

PODOLSKI RULES OUT ARSENAL SWITCH

Arsenal's quest to find a reliable striker to back up Robin Van Persie has hit a snag as Lukas Podolski ruled out a winter transfer to the Emirates. The Koln striker is reportedly unwilling to risk his place in the Germany squad for the European Championships, saying there is no guarantee of consistent playing time under Arsene Wenger.

However, neither the club nor Podolski ruled out a possible move in the summer. Arsenal reportedly has a $15 million offer on the table, but Koln is insisting on a fee at least double that amount in order to deal Podolski. His current deal runs out in 2013 and, with Koln in substantial financial trouble, it is almost certain a move will be completed before the end of Podolski's contract.

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Would Keane to Villa be a good fit? Think United will bounce back against Blackburn? What did you make of Rooney's punishment? Is it a smart move for Podolski to stay put?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Aston Villa eyes Keane loan, Rooney back for United and more

  1. Jon says:

    Soccernet, citing one of the Italian papers, says Stankovic is considering MLS.

    Any intel?

  2. fischy says:

    Dunno about espn, but MLS has the same news, linking to an Italian site that claims Corriere dello Sport as the source. Unfortunately, I can’t find any such story on that paper’s website. Anyway, he’s signed through 2014, but for some reason the story claims the contract allows for the possibility of a move to the USA.

  3. Freddy says:

    Definitely smart for Podolski to stay put for now. But I would love to see him playing in the EPL after the EURO’s.

  4. Pete says:

    Let the man rest…It was a wild 2010 for him.

  5. Don says:

    I have a modest proposal. Since the EPL thinks it appropriate for MLS players to play in their league during the offseason, the EPL should extend the same courtesy to MLS by allowing their players to play here during the offseason.

  6. bryan says:

    that would be hilarious. i think LA should give it a shot!

  7. KenC says:

    MLS could not afford the wages of your average EPL footballer. Their wages would put them in the DP class. The EPL can easily afford the wages of a DP in MLS.

  8. GW says:

    Money aside, the schedule seems to argue against it.

    MLS March – October

    EPL August – May

    EPL teams usually loan out young guys who need to play, vets who can contribute something in an abbreviated time frame or malcontents.

    The EPL usually loans its guys out at the beginning of their season. That coincides with the last two months of the MLS season. If they loaned anyone to MLS in the EPL off-season you run the risk of the player potentially having to play an additional seven months, coupled with the travel that is quite a lot on a player. Loaning him to another club in Europe gets him as many if not more games with a lot less wear and tear, would make him easier to keep tabs on, and keeps him in sync with the EPL schedule.

    If the EPL were to loan someone at the end of their season you again run into the scheduling issues and if the loan player did well the MLS team would lose him going into the last two months of their season, which would be disruptive.

    If a club like the Galaxy were going to bring someone in on loan for a playoff and finals push it would have to be someone who would fit right in and produce instantly, not unlike Keane. But there aren’t too many like him.

    As for malcontents, America is already world class in that regard (see Zimmerman, P) so why do we need to import them?