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Ashley was willing to smash Newcastle wage cap for Spurs ace Keane

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley was ready to smash the club's new rigid pay structure to bring Tottenham striker Robbie Keane to St James' Park on a season's loan.

Newcastle still have several £60,000-a- week men in their squad from the previous regime but Ashley has installed a strict new wage policy with a limit of £30,000, says the People.

The £45,000-a-week they offered to local favourite Taylor to try and persuade him to stay on at the club was a very rare example of that policy being broken.

It is believed that Ashley was ready to make up the difference to secure Keane but in the end the Republic of Ireland skipper decided to stay at White Hart Lane - he also turned down Turkish outfit Besiktas after an £9million fee was agreed.

 Click here for the best Newcastle United coverage on the 'net. All your Toon news and gossip in one spot.

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