Hughes delighted to work with 'fantastic' Given again

Carl Markham

Stoke's summer recruitment continues apace after the club confirmed the signing of former Aston Villa keeper Shay Given.

The announcement of the Republic of Ireland international's arrival on a two-year deal came less than an hour after the Potters secured Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel on a season-long loan.

Given fills the gap left by veteran Thomas Sorensen's departure at the end of the previous campaign, but, with first-choice Asmir Begovic seemingly on his way out of the Britannia Stadium, with Chelsea stepping up their interest, the 39-year-old will provide competition for England U21 No 1 Jack Butland.

"I know Shay particularly well from our time together at Manchester City and I'm really looking forward to working with him again," said manager Mark Hughes. "He will not only be a great asset on the pitch as an outstanding goalkeeper but he's also a fantastic character to have in the dressing room and around the club - a true professional."

Villa chief executive Tony Scholes added: "Few players can match Shay for the longevity of his career, but having finished last season as Villa's first-choice goalkeeper it's clear he still has so much to offer."

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