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Robbie Keane Linked With Move To Irish Packed Preston

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Robbie Keane #7 of Los Angeles Galaxy attempts a shot in front of Brad Evans #3 of Seattle Sounders FC during the Western Conference Final at StubHub Center on November 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Former Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane has been linked with a shock move to Preston North End.

Keane has been a free agent since leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the MLS season. The Birmingham Mail have suggested that Simon Grayson’s side could move for the 36-year-old who has indicated a desire to prolong his playing career. The Dubliner called time on his international playing career after last summer’s European Championships after 68 international goals over a 19-year career in the green shirt.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JUNE 07:  Robbie Keane of the Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier between Republic of Ireland and the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium on June 7, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Keane has been linked with an array of clubs since departing the MLS with the Championship the latest in an ever-growing list. The Mirror had reported that Keane was closing in on a move to his hometown club Shamrock Rovers. However, a move never materialised and Keane’s wife Claudine distancing her husband from a move to the Hoops.

It is now the Lillywhites that find themselves in a battle for the veteran’s signature. There are several Irishmen on North End’s books including current internationals Aiden McGeady, Greg Cunningham, Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle as well as Eoin Doyle and Alan Browne. This could be a pull factor should Keane decide to make the move to Deepdale but his wages could be a major stumbling block.

CARSON, CA - MARCH 06:  Robbie Keane #7 of Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates after scoring on a penalty kick in the second half of their MLS match against D.C. United at StubHub Center on March 6, 2016 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated United 4-1.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Although linked with several British-based clubs including Celtic and Chris Hughton’s Brighton, Keane may favour a prolonged stay in the MLS having rejected a move to Australia. With a new LA franchise set to launch, Keane may not even have a need to relocate.

However now that he is coming to the end of his career, Keane could be convinced to join a Preston side who are pushing for the play offs following an impressive run of form. With several strikers at the club, Keane would have to fight for his place but this could be viewed as one last challange for the Irish legend.

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena

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Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.