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There’s Been A Major Twist In The Robbie Keane To Al-Ahli Story

LYON, FRANCE - JUNE 26: Robbie Keane of The Republic of Ireland warms up during the UEFA Euro 2016 round of 16 match between France and the Republic of Ireland at Stade des Lumieres on June 26, 2016 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/UEFA via Getty Images)

Robbie Keane will not be signing for Al-Ahli after photos of him training with the club fuelled a wildfire of speculation.

The Irish Independent claim that the 36-year-old was invited to train with the Dubai-based side during a family holiday in the Emirates. After months as a free agent, it was widely expected that Keane would sign with the wealthy club that boasts former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan and Everton Ribeiro.

Since leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the MLS season, Keane has been linked with moves to Australia, England and Ireland as well as a stay in the MLS. However, it seems that a move to the MLS is not on the agenda with Keane strongly linked to Preston North End during the January transfer window.

After leaving England for the United States six years ago, the veteran might be hoping for one last crack in the country he made his name in, with the Irish Examiner reporting on Tuesday he could be on his way to the Championship.

LYON, FRANCE - JUNE 26:  Robbie Keane of Republic of Ireland acknowledges the supporters after their team's 1-2 defeat in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between France and Republic of Ireland at Stade des Lumieres on June 26, 2016 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Keane was previously on the books at Wolves, Coventry, Leeds, Liverpool and Spurs, where he enjoyed two spells. He also played for Inter Milan in the early stages of his career prior to his move to Leeds.

Preston boss Simon Grayson suggested that Keane would not be guaranteed his place at Deepdale – a club which already has a significant Irish contingent – and would have to fight for his place.

The January transfer window passed without a deal but Keane is entitled to a move as he is not contracted to any club. Ireland’s record goalscorer retired from international football last summer and is widely expected to prolong his playing career.

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.