Aston Villa set to sign Shay Given from Manchester City

By Phil McNultyChief football writer
Shay Given playing for Manchester City
Shay Given played second fiddle to Joe Hart for Man City last season

Aston Villa are on the verge of completing a £3.5m deal for Manchester City's Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given.

New Villa boss Alex McLeish targeted the 35-year-old after Brad Friedel moved to Tottenham.

Negotiations between the goalkeeper and the Villans have been ongoing in the last fortnight.

Given has undergone a medical at Villa Park and the move should be formally announced inside the next 24 hours.

The former Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper has been on the margins at Eastlands after City manager Roberto Mancini made England international Joe Hart his first choice.

Villa defender and Republic of Ireland team-mate Richard Dunne is delighted at the prospect of being reunited with Given and told the Birmingham Mailexternal-link: "He was frustrated over the way things have gone over the last year, I think he just wants to get playing again and he'll be looking forward to it.

"I spoke to him on Friday when he got here and I think he was surprised about how good the facilities and the setup are here at Bodymoor.

"I think it's a good opportunity for Shay to get back to playing football and I think it's one he's really looking forward to."

Villa, meanwhile, are still waiting for an official response from Wigan Athletic to their £10m offer for Charles N'Zogbia, who is wanted by McLeish as a replacement for Stewart Downing following his £20m move to Liverpool.

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