Getty Images

Birmingham wants Cole and Keane

Harry Redknapp is keen to sign veteran stars, with Ashley Cole and Robbie Keane on his wishlist.

Birmingham City is interested in signing LA Galaxy defender Ashley Cole and the Major League Soccer franchise's former striker Robbie Keane, manager Harry Redknapp has revealed.

Cole, 36, has played for Roma and Galaxy since leaving Chelsea in 2014, while Keane, 37, has been a free agent since leaving the Californian side last year.

Stewart Downing is another target for Birmingham boss Redknapp, who recently missed out on the signing of ex-Chelsea captain John Terry to rival Aston Villa.

"Ashley Cole, for me, was the best left-back in the world a few years ago - he was just a fantastic player," Redknapp said.

"He's out in America. I don't know what Ashley's plans are. His name was mentioned to me. When you have a chance to get someone like him, if he's available, he has to be of interest.

"Robbie Keane is a proper player; a great professional and infectious character. 

"He's a great trainer. He would be wonderful around the dressing room, showing people how you become a top-class pro for so many years.

"He knows he wouldn't play every week but just to have him around - I'm sure he'd fight tooth and nail to get a regular place in the team. 

"They are all interesting but until you speak to them, you don't know. They are not over the hill.

"I went to Portsmouth in the same sort of situation. I went there and took Paul Merson, Steve Stone, Tim Sherwood - all fantastic professionals. They were proper blokes, proper men and we won the league. You want them to blend in with the younger ones.

"My ambition is for us to be in the top group this year, at least make the play-offs. Anything other than that wouldn't be a success for me. But to do that you need good players."

Downing, 32, has been made available by Middlesbrough after its relegation from the Premier League.

Redknapp said: "Stewart Downing is a proper player, got a great left foot, he's fit as a fiddle. Whether we could afford him I don't know. 

"Wage-wise I don't know where we would go with it, I haven't got a clue what he earns, and he belongs to Middlesbrough, but I think they've said he can go on a free, so he's of interest."