Villa close to Given deal

08 July 2011 08:14
Aston Villa are hopeful Shay Given will become Alex McLeish's first signing next week in a £3.5million move from Manchester City.[LNB] Villa are poised to replace one veteran in Brad Friedel with another in 35-year-old Given who wants the chance to play first-team football again.[LNB]The two clubs have held talks and sources close to Villa are optimistic a deal will be finalised sooner rather than later.[LNB]Given was the number one at Newcastle for more than a decade before moving to Eastlands two and a half years ago.[LNB]But the emergence of England keeper Joe Hart - who played under McLeish when on loan at Birmingham - cost him his place last season.[LNB]Personal terms are not expected to be a major stumbling block even though Given is reported to be on £80,000 a week at City.[LNB]The expected arrival of Given, however, will not lead to the departure of Brad Guzan who had a spell on loan at Hull last season.[LNB]McLeish is keen for the American to provide back-up to Given along with Andy Marshall.[LNB]He said: "I'd like to hold onto Brad, definitely. I don't think we will be letting him go at this particular stage."[LNB]Villa report back for pre-season training today with McLeish set for further talks with in-demand winger Stewart Downing.[LNB]McLeish is desperate to keep the England international and has rejected offers of £12 million and £15 million from Liverpool.[LNB]It now remains to be seen whether Downing will force the issue by asking for a transfer.[LNB]One player who will be absent from training today is midfielder Fabian Delph who is still recovering from ankle surgery at the end of the season.[LNB]

Source: Team_Talk