Aston Villa keeper linked to surprising Manchester City switch

Scott Heavey

Manchester City may be interested in bringing in an Aston Villa keeper over the summer.

Shay Given leapt at the opportunity to fill the hole left by Gary Karsa and Ian Culverhouse when the duo were suspended two weeks ago. But despite reports from players that he's been a great coach and the fact that he's only one certification away from being allowed to manage clubs, it seems as if Given isn't ready to give up his playing days quite yet.

And he apparently made that interest to continue playing known to Manchester City when he visited the Etihad over the weekend as part of a U-21 match there. Given was a fixture at City, starting 50 matches there between 2009 and 2011 before he was ousted by their current starter Joe Hart. The club's current backup starter, Costel Pantilimon, is widely expected to leave this summer when his contract is up. And given the fact that Mark Schwarzer is now starting for a Chelsea club in the title race and the Champions League semifinals, Shay's 38 years of age suddenly don't look like quite so many.

It would be a move that made sense for both parties. Given had a disastrous run of form that began in the Euro 2012 competition and ultimately led to his being replaced by Brad Guzan. But a loan spell at Middlesbrough this year saw him keep nine clean sheets in fifteen matches. Due to his high wages, Paul Lambert has made clear that he won't be playing at Villa again soon, so if City want him, it's a smart move to send him along.

Hopefully Given can land somewhere, as he's been just about the classiest player you could ever hope for. Despite his banishment from even the bench, we've never heard a word of complaint from him, and he has been eager to help the club in any way he can. Once the season is over, Aston Villa owe it to him to find him a permanent place to actually get a chance at some time.

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