Venables will listen to Keane offers

Last updated : 27 August 2002 By Elland Roader

The Republic of Ireland striker could have left Leeds for Sunderland during the summer after a fee had been agreed between the two clubs but opted instead to stay at Elland Road and fight for his place.

But two games into the Premiership season and two appearances as substitute, Keane has expressed his disappointment at not being in the starting line-up.

"At this stage of my career, I cannot afford to spend week after week on the subs' bench waiting for a chance to impress in the closing stages of games," said the former Coventry & Wolves player.

Manager Venables has admitted his surprise at the 22-year-old's comments: "It's only two games, and I didn't really expect it (Keane's comments) after two games, but then again he might not have said what he did if there were only a few days to the transfer deadline.

"He's probably thinking "do I stay now for four months or do I try and get a club now where I can play every week?" That's his problem. A week ago I felt that wasn't the case, but now there's a change of heart, and so we will have to see what happens. If there's any interest I will look at it and if he doesn't want to be here, I will feel the same.

"I'm not going to cut my nose off to spite my face. I would like to keep all the good players here to take on the challenge and compete. Now if that changes then I have to take stock and see whether I feel I can do that without doing anything to my own situation.

"There have been approaches before, from Sunderland and Spurs, but that was it. Unless that changes then we will stay as we are. But if someone wants to come to me and make something, on the club's terms, then it's possible it will go through. Although we're running out of time now and I would think nothing would happen at this stage."