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Shay Given set to leave Villa for Middlesbrough


Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given

Shay Given is poised to join Middlesbrough in a move that could spark a search for a new goalkeeper by Tim Sherwood.

Given has agreed to end his four-year association with Aston Villa to join the the ambitious Championship club, with Sherwood prepared to let the 39-year-old leave on a free transfer.

The Ireland international was Sherwood's first choice goalkeeper towards the end of last season, appearing in both the FA Cup final and semi-final at Wembley.

But Middlesbrough, who have seen a £5.5million bid for West Ham winger Stewart Downing rejected, have lured Given to the Riverside Stadium after he impressed on loan two seasons ago.

Given's departure raises the prospect of Sherwood looking for a new goalkeeper after the Villa manager dropped Brad Guzan after a high-profile mistake in the 3-2 defeat at Manchester City.

Brentford's David Button is thought to be a target while Villa failed with a £4million bid for Stoke's Asmir Begovic earlier this summer.

Given was a £3million signing from Manchester City in 2011 and had one year left on his Villa contract.