Date: 26th January 2009 at 4:37am
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The Irish Times reports this Monday morning that Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given is likely to sign for City within the next 48 hours.

Mark Hughes has been on the look out for an experienced ‘keeper to steady the ship and help to bring on the excellent Joe Hart who has done City so proud against the odds of inexperience and battle fatigue. Given more than fits the bill with his vast Premier League experience.

The 32 year old, something of a Newcastle legend, has been brilliant for The Magpies this season almost single handedly repelling opponents who were threatening double figure scores.

Although a long time well settled in the North East he is understood to have become increasingly disillusioned with life at Newcastle under Mike Ashley’s direction.

As The Irish Times pointed out:

‘Following December’s 5-1 thrashing by Liverpool, in which Given was brilliant, the goalkeeper ran straight down the tunnel and his representative Michael Kennedy released a statement three days later revealing Given’s ‘despondency’ at the club’s seemingly never-ending turmoil and increasing distance from the Premier League’s elite.’

City have so far made two bids to Newcastle for Given and both have been rejected, but as the January Transfer window prepares to swing shut next week, the club hierarchy will know that should they now sell Given to a third City bid of around £10 million, they will still have time with which to use the money to strengthen their squad.

Newcastle’s sweary gaffer Joe Kinnear has gone on record as saying Given is going nowhere. Furthermore, Newcastle are also known to have asked for MCFC Academy graduates Nedum Onuoha or Michael Johnson plus money for Given but with the clock ticking, both those stances are likely to be ditched by Newcastle with City’s money sat on the table.

The fact that Newcastle have now offered Given’s understudy Steve Harper a new 3 year contract all but confirms his departure is imminent.

Should Given sign for City this week it is highly unlikely that The Republic’s Number One will represent either City or Newcastle in this Wednesday’s important Premier League clash at Eastlands.

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