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Tottenham value Irishman at just £4 million but the striker's high £65,000-a-week wage packet is the main stumbling block for the west Londoners at present

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Fulham are lining up a swoop for Robbie Keane as a replacement for QPR and West Ham target Andy Johnson, Goal.com has learned.

New manager Martin Jol is a huge admirer of the Irishman from their days together at Tottenham and wants to bring the out-of-favour striker from White Hart Lane to Craven Cottage.

But it is understood that Fulham will only make a formal move if they can offload Johnson, 30, who has been touted to suitors for around £3m.

QPR and West Ham lead the chase for the former England international, who has fallen down the pecking order at Craven Cottage after missing large chunks of the past two seasons, in which he has scored only three league goals and six in total, through injury.

There has been a lot of interest in Keane, who has fallen out of favour at White Hart Lane, but no club is yet to meet Spurs' £4m asking price.

Keane spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham but the chance of a permament move fell through following the club's relegation to the Championship.

The Irishman, who turned 31 on Friday, wants to remain in the Premier League but his £65,000-a-week wages have proved a stumbling block for a number of clubs, including Birmingham City and Wolves, over the last 12 months.

Fulham have a tight wage structure, with the top earner - believed to be Bobby Zamora - on £45,000-a-week, which means Keane will have to take a wage cut for a deal to go through.

The west Londoners would prefer a permanent deal but would also accept a loan switch with Spurs paying a remaining percentage of the striker's wages so they didn't break the wage structure.

Spurs are relucant to endorse another yet loan deal, following the spells at Celtic in 2010 and West Ham, and want to permanently get the 51-goal Republic of Ireland international off the wage bill and give them greater funds in this summer's transfer market.

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