“We’ve lost a player who is really important.”
Ex-Republic of Ireland international Richard Keogh looks set for a transfer to a Championship club after reviving his career with MK Dons in League One.
Keogh had his contract cancelled at Derby after a drink-driving incident with two other players at the club. After his Derby contract was cancelled, and he completed his rehabilitation, Keogh joined MK Dons last summer.
Keogh suffered a knee injury in the accident which ruled him out of action for several months. However, the Irish international made a strong recovery from the injury and emerged as a stalwart at the back for the League One side.
However, it now appears that Keogh may have played his final game for the club after reports emerged of a surprise Championship bid.
Dons coach Russell Martin confirmed the speculation in the wake of his side’s 3-0 defeat to Peterborough on Saturday.
“Richard is in talks with a Championship club – it’s a surprise to everyone,” he admitted.
“He expressed a desire to pursue that and we’ve agreed on a deal which is very good for someone of his age, but disrupting for us, so it’s a blow.
“But when someone expresses a desire to leave, it changed the plan late on. We’re being empathetic to someone who wants to go elsewhere, and it enables us to invest and replace him.
“I’m disappointed because we’ve lost a player who is really important.”
After admitting his displeasure over the transfer, Martin also confessed that it would be difficult to keep hold of a player when they express a desire to leave and even more so for a player of Keogh’s age.
Even though Keogh has made 26 appearances for the Irish national team, he has yet to receive a call back to the side since his departure from Derby.
While current manager Martin admitted his disappointment at losing his centre-back, he didn’t reveal the 34-year-old’s next destination.