Given set to become a Villain

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Updated: July 8, 2011

Aston Villa are hopeful Shay Given will become Alex McLeish’s first signing next week in a £3.5 million move from Manchester City.

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.

The two clubs have held talks and sources close to Villa are optimistic a deal will be finalised sooner rather than later.

Given was the number one at Newcastle for more than a decade before moving to Eastlands two and a half years ago.

But the emergence of England keeper Joe Hart – who played under McLeish when on loan at Birmingham – cost him his place last season.

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.

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. McLeish is keen for the American to provide back-up to Given along with Andy Marshall.

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