Tardelli warns Given against rash move as Ireland digs in heels over £2m pay-off
MARCO TARDELLI has told Shay Given not to panic if he is dropped for Manchester City's Premier League opener against Spurs tomorrow.
The Irish goalkeeper will request urgent talks with the Eastlands hierarchy if City boss Roberto Mancini gives Joe Hart the nod and Given has strongly hinted that he would seek a transfer.
Tardelli rates Given as one of the top three goalkeepers in the world, yet he believes that the 34-year-old should avoid a rash reaction if he finds himself benched.
"We've spoken to him and said it's better to stay calm," said Tardelli. "Shay Given is one of the the best goalkeepers in the world, near (Gianluigi) Buffon and (Petr) Cech. If he doesn't play at the weekend, I think he will play next week. It's better to stay calm, because Mancini knows football."
Tardelli reckons that Given is a superior 'keeper to Hart, although he admitted that he didn't know a huge amount about the English youngster.
The Irish assistant boss was on press duty again, with Giovanni Trapattoni confined to the Mater Hospital as he recovers from his stomach operation.
He will remain there for a further week, but Tardelli and FAI chief John Delaney say he will be fine for the trip to Armenia for Ireland's opening Euro 2012 qualifier on September 3.
Meanwhile, City were on the verge of a £23m deal to sign Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan last night -- although their move for James Milner is hinging on a severance payment to Stephen Ireland, who is poised to move to Villa Park.
City are trying to reach a financial agreement with Ireland, who is moving in the opposite direction to Milner in a deal worth a total of £26m. City claim that Ireland, who has been valued at £8m, is refusing to leave unless he is handed a £2m severance payment.
The club said that he will be paid money owed under the terms of his contract but declined to reveal the amount.
Balotelli, who turned 20 yesterday, is expected to arrive in Manchester in the next 48 hours, to become the eighth forward at City and the sixth significant acquisition, at a cost of almost £130m, this summer.
He has been offered a five-deal year worth about £60,000-a-week, but the medical and paperwork are unlikely to be completed in time for him to play at Spurs tomorrow.