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Saturday, August 21, 1999 Published at 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK


Sport: Football

Keane becomes expensive teen

Keane: Fee unknown for Britain's most expensive teenager

Coventry have confirmed the signing of Robbie Keane from Wolves for an undisclosed fee.

The Republic of Ireland teenager has signed a five-year contract at Highfield Road.

The fee is believed to be a shade under the £6m Wolves demanded from Aston Villa, but still makes the 19-year-old Britain's most expensive teenager.

"I feel absolutely over the moon," said Keane.

"It's quite flattering to come to Coventry City and play in the Premier League. It's something I always dreamed of."


[ image: Keane: Impressed with Coventry's future plans]
Keane: Impressed with Coventry's future plans
Wolves had demanded the full asking price from Villa, but after harsh words across the West Midlands, the Molineux club bypassed Birmingham to sell to the area's smaller Premiership club.

Coventry have also been involved in a public row with Villa Park over the Birmingham side's signings of Dion Dublin and George Boateng.

Earlier in the summer Middlesbrough agreed to pay £6m for Keane, but the player was unwilling to move north.

Keane becomes Coventry's record signing, beating the £4m boss Gordon Strachan paid Deportivo La Coruna last month for Mustapha Hadji.

Sky Blue Boost

The signing is welcome for Coventry, who have taken just one point from their first three Premiership matches.

The Irish striker replaces Darren Huckerby, sold to Leeds last week, and could make his Premiership debut at home to Derby on Saturday.

Keane spoke of Coventry's ambition and their plans for a new home.

"The new stadium will be finished in two years. It sounds fantastic and with a capacity of over 40,000 it deserves a winning team. I want to be part of that," he insisted.

"Coventry's vision and belief have impressed me. They are a club that is building a strong future. I talked to a lot of people about this move, including the Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy.

"Everyone I spoke to was positive about the club.

"I had a conversation with Gordon Strachan to discuss how he saw my role in the team. I liked what he had to say and I am looking forward to playing for him.

"I had two great seasons at Wolves, the supporters there were brilliant. I hope that they get the promotion they deserve and that I can look forward to facing them next year in the Premiership."

The forward scored in each of Wolves' first two League games of the season, against Manchester City and Portsmouth, and has been interesting top-flight clubs for more than a year.





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