MAN CITY have told Shay Given they will allow him to leave but only if they find a replacement first, the Guardian newspaper is reporting.
The club are sympathetic to the position of the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper now that he has lost his place to Joe Hart but do not want to leave themselves short as they compete with Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.
Uppermost in Roberto Mancini’s thoughts is the situation at the end of last season, when Given and Stuart Taylor were injured and, with Hart on loan at Birmingham City, an emergency loan had to be arranged for Marton Fulop of Sunderland.
Given’s desire is to go out on loan and Mancini confirmed the club are looking at potential replacements, with Coventry City’s Keiren Westwood, a former City reserve and now Given’s understudy for the Republic of Ireland national team, among the options. However, Mancini has also made it clear to Given that he will not let him go unless a deal has already been arranged for someone else to come in as back-up to Hart.
“We can’t take the same risk as last season,” Mancini told the Guardian. “We have seen two or three [possible options] but Shay doesn’t decide this situation. I have talked about this with Shay and he told me that, if we have a chance to take another goalkeeper, [he would like to go] … but finding a goalkeeper like Shay?”
The inference is clear, namely that City are reluctant to lose a player of Given’s calibre in case the England goalkeeper is injured during the second half of a season in which Mancini’s club still have aspirations of winning a first league title since 1968.