Birmingham: Aston Villa are considering a January move for Robbie Keane that could see the LA Galaxy striker return to the Premier League for a brief loan spell.
According to the Birmingham Mail, the terms of the planned deal are similar to those set to bring striker Thierry Henry back to Arsenal for two months from the New York Red Bulls, with the Frenchman and the Republic of Ireland forward Keane both available as Major League Soccer is now in its off-season.
Villa manager Alex McLeish is a longstanding admirer of Keane and when the Scot was in charge of Birmingham City he tried to sign the striker last January, agreeing a £6 million deal with Tottenham Hotspur only for the move to break down regarding personal terms.
Instead, he went on loan to West Ham for the second half of last season before joining LA Galaxy from Tottenham for a reported £3.5 million on a two-year deal.
If Keane does arrive at Villa Park later this month it will mark the end of a 12-and-a-half year pursuit by the Birmingham club who first tried to sign the now 31-year-old Keane from Midlands rivals Wolves in 1999.
It is understood Keane would be available until the MLS season resumes in March.
As the Republic are heading to this year's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, Keane is eager for competitive first team football during the MLS break and joining Villa would see him linking up with international team-mates Shay Given and Richard Dunne.
Villa, beaten 2-0 at home to promoted Swansea on Monday, are currently 12th in the Premier League table.