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http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2009-01-26-4114500749_x.htm

LONDON — Manchester United is trying to decide whether $48 million is too much to spend for Carlos Tevez. Liverpool is wondering whether almost half that sum for Robbie Keane was a waste of money.

With English soccer's two most successful clubs neck and neck in the Premier League title race, United has a talent it doesn't want to lose. The Reds are considering how much they might get for a striker who loves the team but has been a major flop.

Tevez is three quarters through a two-year loan deal with Manchester United, which is pondering an asking price it considers excessive. What's more, the club still doesn't really know where the money would go.

Although Tevez joined the Red Devils from West Ham, his contract is owned by a third party, and United doesn't want to run the risk of the sort of disciplinary action that hit the Hammers.

The United fans want the club to take that risk and pay the money.

Watching the Argentina striker hit the Tottenham crossbar with a thunderbolt left-footed shot, charge at defenders with his fast, determined runs and harrying Spurs players to try and win the ball, they pleaded with Ferguson to turn the loan deal into a full-time one despite the cost.

If his phenomenal work rate is a judge, Tevez wants to stay. But reports of his apparent frustration have emerged in his homeland and that might alert other clubs who want to sign him if United continues to dither.

Ferguson has handed the matter over to chief executive David Gill.

"It doesn't frustrate me," the United manager said the last time he was asked about the Tevez situation. "I have been used to it over the years. You just have to be patient. It is not as if we have been short of negotiations, but I think we all know they can take a long time, and this one is just going along. David has been talking to his agent, so it is best left to him."

United is in painstaking negotiations with the people who handle Tevez' contract and financial issues.

The Argentina striker arrived in English soccer along with countryman Javier Mascherano from the Brazilian club Corinthians in a deal brokered by a third party. West Ham signed them and wound up in big trouble with the Premier League for breaking transfer rules.

That trouble won't go away because the Hammers, who avoided relegation because Tevez scored a last-minute winner in the last game of the season, face a $49 million damage suit from one of the teams that did go down, Sheffield United.

Clearly, United wants to get all the legalities sorted out even it if it is prepared to write a big check to sign the striker. But the Scot clearly likes what Tevez brings to the team.

"He's got great enthusiasm," Ferguson said. "He's a tiger. He fights for every ball and it's great to have someone with that attitude in your team."

Even defeated Spurs manager Harry Redknapp praised Tevez for a performance that helped knock his team out of the FA Cup on Saturday.

"If you looked for endeavor and fantastic effort we'd all like to have Tevez in our team," the veteran Spurs manager said. "He was an example to everyone the way he ran and chased, how the crowd responded to him. But there are very few of those people around."

How Keane would love to hear such praise right now.

A Liverpool fan as a teenager, Keane finally arrived at the club this summer in a $26 million move from Tottenham, having already had spells with Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan and Leeds.

A little like Tevez, who didn't score for West Ham for 20 games after his arrival in English soccer, Keane didn't hit the target until his 11th game for the Reds this season. By contrast, the Argentina star has netted nine times in 31 games, many of them coming off the bench.

A day after the United fans cheered Tevez' name at Old Trafford and rival managers praised his performances, Keane was nowhere to be seen at Anfield on Sunday. The only time his name got mentioned was when manager Rafa Benitez was asked why he wasn't playing.

Benitez didn't select him in the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Everton and also didn't use him in the 0-0 draw with Stoke. He took him off in the 1-1 Premier League draw against Everton last Monday.

"That was all," he said. "He is not injured. I have not seen Robbie but I know that all the players want to be involved with the squad and they may not be happy at being left out."

Now there is strong speculation Keane's spell at Liverpool may not last until the end of the transfer window, which has a week to go.

The Irishman, who failed to score in six games for Inter Milan, has not provided the goals Benitez expected when he paid all that money.

While Tevez is the popular star United wants to keep, Keane is the lonely striker Liverpool may no longer want.
 

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Robbie was to be the final piece in the jigsaw for Liverpool. Not to be. I always thought that he was at best an average player and Liverpool made a big mistake when they thought they found their Cantona in Keane. He be on his way out this summer
 

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Rahul said:
Robbie was to be the final piece in the jigsaw for Liverpool. Not to be. I always thought that he was at best an average player and Liverpool made a big mistake when they thought they found their Cantona in Keane. He be on his way out this summer
he's liverpool class. but then again every player in the world is pool class:rolleyes:
 

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united forever said:
he's liverpool class. but then again every player in the world is pool class:rolleyes:
Keane's sure as hell a lot better than N'gog, who is without doubt the worst player ever to play for Liverpool and that is REALLY saying something!!!

Benitez needs to have him playing week in week out over the course of 20 odd games in his correct position if Keane has any chance of playing well and scoring regularly... If Benitez didnt know Keane was a form player, Liverpool really didnt do their homework! I've heard rumours that Parry wanted keane and not Benitez...

I dont understand why he was bought if they dont have any intention of accomodating him regularly in their starting 11, a manager who spends 20million on a squad player needs to get the sack!
 

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eoininho said:
Keane's sure as hell a lot better than N'gog, who is without doubt the worst player ever to play for Liverpool and that is REALLY saying something!!!

Benitez needs to have him playing week in week out over the course of 20 odd games in his correct position if Keane has any chance of playing well and scoring regularly... If Benitez didnt know Keane was a form player, Liverpool really didnt do their homework! I've heard rumours that Parry wanted keane and not Benitez...

I dont understand why he was bought if they dont have any intention of accomodating him regularly in their starting 11, a manager who spends 20million on a squad player needs to get the sack!
this is benitez and liverpool we are talking about
 

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Tevez have been sensational this season giving us some deadly important points by some assists and goals and he have done more than what Keane have done for liverpool or what keane would have done in liverpool if he played all the matches this season
 

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eoininho said:
Keane's sure as hell a lot better than N'gog, who is without doubt the worst player ever to play for Liverpool and that is REALLY saying something!!!

Benitez needs to have him playing week in week out over the course of 20 odd games in his correct position if Keane has any chance of playing well and scoring regularly... If Benitez didnt know Keane was a form player, Liverpool really didnt do their homework! I've heard rumours that Parry wanted keane and not Benitez...

I dont understand why he was bought if they dont have any intention of accomodating him regularly in their starting 11, a manager who spends 20million on a squad player needs to get the sack!

Parry did want Keane. They wanted Barry to take Gerrard's role and have Gerrard linking up front with Torres. It seems to have backfired now that they didn't get him. Keane has been a total flop, he's never been too high on my list for top strikers anyway.
 
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