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Tottenham striker Robbie Keane joins Celtic

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Keane at Celtic 'to win trophies'

Celtic have confirmed the signing of Tottenham striker Robbie Keane on loan until the end of the season.

The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international travelled to Glasgow on Monday evening, with thousands of fans gathering in wait outside Celtic Park.

Keane was delighted having been consistently linked with the club.

"The club is massive," he said. "I am a Celtic fan and did not have to ask much about it. I always wanted to play for Celtic and it works for all parties."

Celtic had already added Diomansy Kamara from Fulham on loan and Morten Rasmussen from Brondby during January to bolster their strike force.

His situation at Spurs was made, I think, pretty plain to him. He always knew we were very, very keen to get him

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell

And the Keane deal followed Australia international Scott McDonald's £3.5m transfer to Middlesbrough, which was completed minutes before the closure of the 1700 GMT deadline for incoming transfers in England.

Fellow striker Chris Killen had moved from Celtic to the Riverside earlier in the transfer window.

Keane, a lifelong Celtic fan, has made 25 appearances for Spurs this season but has recently been confined to the substitutes' bench.

But he said: "I did not want to come here when I was 34 and struggling.

"I still feel I am in my prime and hope I can help the club."

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp gave his blessing to the switch by the Republic international team's captain and all-time top scorer with 41 goals in almost 100 games.

"He is a Celtic man so it's a dream come true for him," he said.

"Robbie needs to play. He's too good a player not to be starting here regularly. He wants to play all the time.

Fans welcome Keane at midnight

"It's been difficult to guarantee Robbie a starting place at the moment.

"He's not a happy man when he's not playing regularly, but he loves his football; he's a great trainer, a great man about the place.

"Crouch has been in good form with Defoe and I have Roman Pavlyuchenko and brought in Eidur Gudjohnsen."

Keane signed for Spurs in 2002, making almost 200 appearances and scoring 80 goals, before joining Liverpool for around £20m in July 2008.

However, he went on to make only 29 appearances for the Anfield side and rejoined Spurs in February 2009 for £12m, taking his cumulative transfer fees to more than £70m.

His previous clubs include Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan and Leeds.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "We've been pretty persistent in the last few windows in terms of keeping in touch with what he was wanting to do.

"Thankfully, today, we were able to do a deal.

"We've known for a while that Robbie is a Celtic supporter and he's a great connection with the club and our supporters.

"Up until today, things were not looking very great at all. Things changed this afternoon and were able to put a deal in very quickly.

"His situation at Spurs was made, I think, pretty plain to him. He always knew we were very, very keen to get him."

Lawwell said there was no specific option to make the move permanent but did not rule out doing just that in the summer.

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"What we find is that players that come to Celtic very rarely want to leave," he said.

Lawwell refused to reveal how Keane's salary - reportedly in the region of £65,000 a week - would be paid and denied his signing was merely a ploy to appease disgruntled supporters.

"We're in a transitional period at the moment," he said. "Tony probably wasn't blessed with the strongest squad we've had here when he arrived.

"We were always looking to bring in quality, our supporters do deserve the best and that's what we do at Celtic."

Celtic had also been negotiating with Real Mallorca in an attempt to sign defender Ivan Ramis, but the Glasgow club said that the signing of Keane would be their last of the January transfer window.

However, Mowbray still managed to secure eight signings - with 10 players departing - as Celtic look to overturn Rangers' 10-point lead at the top of the table.



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see also
Transfer deadline day as it happened
01 Feb 10 |  Football
Transfer trio boost Celtic squad
01 Feb 10 |  Celtic
Sunderland land Hutton loan deal
01 Feb 10 |  Sunderland
Celtic's McDonald signs for Boro
01 Feb 10 |  Celtic
No Celtic deal for defender Ramis
01 Feb 10 |  Celtic
Spurs complete Gudjohnsen signing
29 Jan 10 |  Tottenham
Hibs secure Celtic keeper Brown
31 Jan 10 |  Hibernian
Celtic defender Fox joins Burnley
29 Jan 10 |  Burnley
Celtic keen on West Brom's Koren
29 Jan 10 |  Celtic
McManus completes Boro loan move
29 Jan 10 |  Celtic


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