LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has revealed to MLSSoccer.com how he opened the door for compatriot Kevin Doyle to join him in MLS.
Doyle, 31, is a target for the Colorado Rapids and flew out to the US earlier this week for talks with the club ahead of a potential move.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers forward has been frozen out of the first-team picture at Molineux in recent seasons, and could be allowed to leave now as a free agent ahead of his contract expiring in the summer.
With the Rapids on the lookout for an experienced goalscorer, head coach Pablo Mastroeni reached out to his former LA teammate Keane about his once-regular strike-partner with the Republic of Ireland, and the reigning league MVP and three-time MLS Cup champion didn’t need to be asked twice to provide a glowing endorsement.
“I got a call from the Rapids manager, Pablo [Mastroeni]," Keane said from Dublin, where his club are spending the first part of their preseason.
"I used to play with him at Galaxy, so he asked me about Kevin. I highly recommended Kevin to him.
“He would certainly do well over there. If he goes over there, it will be great for him. It will be great for the league, great for him, and I told Pablo that you could not wish to have a better person.
“He’s a great guy off the pitch, works hard, works his socks off on the pitch, and is a handful. Kevin scores goals, so he would be perfect for them. If he goes to MLS I will be delighted to have him over there.”
Nevertheless, there is still work to be done, with he Birmingham Mail reporting that Doyle, while keen on a move to the States, remains reluctant to drop his wages from £40,000-per-week to the £10,000 being offered.
“Kevin has been to Colorado to speak to them for a couple of days and those talks are ongoing,” Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett told the newspaper.
“We are no nearer knowing whether it will happen or not. Where Kevin is in it and his own family and his own situation I don’t really know. You would have to ask him.
“Our club, their club and the player himself want the best for themselves so finding common ground is what is going on. If he goes, it will be a permanent deal.”
The Rapids endured a miserable 2014 in Mastroeni’s first season in charge, going winless in their last 14 games to finish eighth in the Western Conference – their worst-ever campaign.
The club have been hunting for reinforcements this winter as a result, with president Tim Hinchey revealing last month that a big-name signing and proven front man are both on their wishlist.
“We need a big-name player to come in and help take us to the next level,” he told the Denver Post last month.
“We'll have someone before the season starts. We're absolutely going to get a player that is going to matter to Colorado soccer fans and will contribute to the Rapids on the pitch.
“We're also looking at goal scorers in Europe that maybe don't have the same name recognition but will also be a major investment to help," he added. "To be fair, I'd probably rather get the goal-scorer that's going to help us win and go get trophies."
Doyle joined Wolves from Reading in June 2009 as the club’s record £6.5 million signing, and has since gone on to hit 34 goals in 174 total appearances.
The 61-times capped Irishman has not made an appearance for the club in 18 months, however, amid loan spells at Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace, but could still rebuff Colorado’s approach to wait until the summer before reassessing his options.