Mancini tells Given he can go
ROBERTO Mancini has left the door open for Shay Given to leave Manchester City in January.
The Ireland 'keeper claimed yesterday he feels "handcuffed" by his situation at City after losing his place to Joe Hart this season and said that he would pursue a loan move when the transfer window opens in the new year if he is still on the substitutes' bench.
Given said that Mancini vetoed a loan move in the summer and claimed the manager had yet to explain why he had been dropped at the expense of Hart.
But while Mancini expressed some sympathy for Given, the Italian claims he told the Donegal man he could leave last month and said he would let him depart in January.
"I know (what he has said). I have a lot of respect for Shay," Mancini said. "I told him this situation before the transfer market finished. I told him, 'Shay, you can choose. I hope you stay here but this is the situation and I respect your decision -- if you want to leave, you can'. He decided to stay here and until January he must stay here. I understand his situation, but I need him to stay here with his head 100 per cent on the work. I respect him because I played football. I understand if a player doesn't play, it's difficult.
"If he decided to leave, he could have left one month ago. Now he must wait until January. If he wants to leave, I respect his decision because he is a fantastic man and a fantastic goalkeeper."
Given said he "thought I'd have played" against Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday "but I don't know what the manager's thinking because he hasn't told me". Mancini, though, was adamant he never informed Given he would start in Austria.
"I never said to Shay that he would play on Thursday," Mancini, who suggested that Given could start in the Carling Cup third-round tie away to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, said.