Speaking to Sports Illustrated, LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has ruled out making a return to England in the future, insisting that he is keen to see out his career out in MLS.
Keane, 34, is coming off a campaign in which he notched 19 goals and 14 assists in 29 regular-season appearances to claim his first league MVP award, with his strike-record eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 set with Tottenham Hotspur in 2005-06.
Going on to score the winning extra-time goal in December’s 2-1 MLS Cup triumph over the New England Revolution, the Irishman turned a few heads following the final when he appeared to suggest that he could move on in the offseason.
"I definitely need to recharge the batteries and see what the next chapter is for me, whether it's here or it's somewhere else," he told MLSsoccer.com.
"I'm not saying I'm going to leave, but what I'm saying is I need to consider what I want to do, you know? Sometimes change is good for everybody."
A move back to the Premier League was mooted as a result, but Keane has since stressed that his comments have been overblown, telling SI: “It was certainly a long season and you get reporters asking you questions about what you’re going to be doing and are you going to be here and stuff like that, and all I said was that I wanted to recharge the batteries and see, because I see myself playing for a long time.
“I see myself playing longer than what I have left [on my current contract], which is one year. I see way longer than that – like four or five years – I can see myself playing.”
Keane has proven himself an invaluable import since arriving in the States from Tottenham in August 2011, grabbing 53 goals and 35 assists in less than 100 matches, while helping lead LA to three championships in four seasons.
There’s a strong argument that the ex-Liverpool forward is the league’s greatest-ever signing – a sentiment his head coach Bruce Arena supports.
“It’s very rare that an international player can step into this league, be adjusted instantly and not explain to us how you are supposed to do things and how it’s done elsewhere,” Arena said.
“I’ve never heard one ‘This is how they do it at Liverpool or Tottenham.’ He’s bought into Major League Soccer from the start. He’s our greatest advocate. It’s been fabulous. Look of what we’ve done since we’ve acquired Robbie.”
Keane will see former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard join him at the StubHub Center in the summer and, with the Red Skipper on board, has set his sights on adding even more MLS silverware to his collection.
“I want four [MLS Cups] next year. And then after that I want five. And I’ll continue to try for that because, first and foremost, I love playing the game,” he added.
“I want to make the Galaxy one of the biggest names there is. That’s about winning. People forget about the people who lose.”