Aston Villa are reportedly preparing to rescue Irish soccer ace Robbie Keane from the career doldrums he's been experiencing at Tottenham Hotspur.

The celebrated Irish international has experienced mixed fortunes since returning to Spurs after his disastrous spell at Liverpool.

According to recent reports, Villa boss Gerard Houllier is interested in recruiting Keane into his club's ranks as he seeks to increase his team's firepower.

But Villa could be facing competition in the form of Newcastle, Celtic, Sunderland and American MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps.

Spurs' high estimation of Keane's skills and his 75,000 pounds per week wages could prove to be a barrier for Villa, though.

Villa are said to be hoping a 6 million pound offer would be sufficient for the deal to go through, although nothing has been decided yet.