Sunderland wrapping up deal for Stoke's Higginbotham
The Sun says Keane failed with a £2m bid in the off-season.
Former Manchester United trainee Higginbotham, 28, played a couple of games alongside Keane in 1999.
Higgy will move in the next 48 hours after a medical, pushing Keane's summer spending to over £30m.
Keane is also confident of bringing in ex-Old Trafford striker Andy Cole, 36, for the season.