Aston Villa Transfer News: Keeper Close to Championship Move

Veteran stopper Given heading to Middlesbrough...

Shay Given is closing in on a permanent move to Middlesbrough, according to the Daily Mail. Although a year remains on the 39-year-old keeper's current deal Villa will release Given from his contract so the transfer can be completed. It won't be the first time the Republic of Ireland international has played for the Boro, having joined Karanka's side on loan during the 2013/14 season. Shay Given joined Villa in 2011 to replace Brad Friedel but has not always been given first team football. Under McLeish in his debut season he was first-choice keeper but the arrival of Paul Lambert the following season saw Brad Guzan promoted to number one. The ex-Newcastle and Man City keeper was brought back into the team by Tim Sherwood last season, but it now appears that his appearance in the FA Cup final will be his last for the club. Given changed his mind regarding his international retirement and has been Martin O'Neill's first choice in recent international games. Villa bid for Begovic recently and while the bid was rejected, it was perhaps a sign that Given does not feature in Sherwood's plans. If Boro do complete the move they will be adding a highly experienced goalkeeper to their ranks as they push for promotion next season.
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