Photo by Neil Tingle/ISIphotos.com
By THOMAS FLOYD
Despite Aston Villa's best efforts, it appears Robbie Keane will head back to the Los Angeles Galaxy later this month — just as scheduled.
The Villans had hoped to tack another week onto Keane's loan after the Ireland international bagged three goals in his first four EPL appearances for the mid-table club. But Villa's bid for a loan extension was denied, meaning Keane will be slated to join the Galaxy's preseason preparations after a Feb. 25 match against Wigan.
The Galaxy open their campaign March 7 with the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Toronto FC at the Rogers Centre.
Here are some more stories to keep your Thursday going:
REDKNAPP HASN'T CONSIDERED ENGLAND JOB
Harry Redknapp may have landed the endorsements of Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, among others, to lead England at Euro 2012 after Fabio Capello abruptly resigned from his post, but the Tottenham manager said Thursday he "has not even thought" about the opening.
"I've got a job to do," Redknapp said. "I've got a big game on Saturday for Tottenham. Tottenham is my focus."
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, meanwhile, ruled himself out of the race, saying, "I am very, very happy here at Newcastle. We are on a little project here that's going really well and I want to see it through."
BAYERN MUNICH SIGNS SHAQIRI
Bayern Munich has made a move to bolster its midfield corps going forward, completing a deal to sign Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri from FC Basel. Shaqiri will join Bayern at the start of next season.
Shaqiri signed a four-year contract with Bayern after Basel accepted a reported $16 million transfer fee. The 20-year-old, who had been linked recently to Galatasaray and Manchester United, will face his future teammates when Basel takes on Bayern in the last 16 of the Champions League. The two legs are Feb. 26 and March 13.
JUVENTUS TOPS MILAN IN COPPA ITALIA
Martin Caceres notched a brace to lead Juventus to a 2-1 win at AC Milan on Wednesday in the first leg of the clubs' Coppa Italia semi-final, putting his side firmly in control heading into the return leg at home in March.
Caceres scored in the 53rd and 83rd minutes, sandwiching his tallies around a Stephan El Shaarawy strike in the 62nd minute. Siena and Napoli play the first leg of their semi-final later today.