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Given facing wage cut in bid to hasten his Villa exit

SHAY GIVEN will have to take a substantial pay cut if he is to secure a permanent move away from Aston Villa and force his way back into the Ireland set-up.

The Donegal man said over the weekend that he intends to leave the Birmingham club this summer after spending the season playing second fiddle to Brad Guzan.

Given has three years remaining on the bumper five-year contract he signed in 2011 when he joined the Midlands club from Manchester City. The veteran earns £60,000 a week, which means that the remaining value of his contract is over £9.3m.

He has denied reports that he will negotiate a £5m pay-off to get off Villa's books and find new employment, but the size of the 37-year-old's lucrative deal will complicate his exit route.

At this stage of his career, he will struggle to find a club willing to pay him anything like his current salary.

"It's a relief to think about moving to a club where I can play first-team football, because I found it hugely frustrating sitting on the bench for most of the past season," said Given.

"Ideally, I'd like for that to be with another Premier League club, but nothing is guaranteed I suppose. I just want to be able to prove to people that I'm still a good goalkeeper."

A loan move to a club that would inherit a substantial portion of his wages is one option, but Villa manager Paul Lambert is keen to reduce his wage bill and the preferred option would be a permanent departure.

Given, who has admitted his disappointment at missing out on tomorrow's friendly with England, retired from international football post-Euro 2012 to concentrate on his club career.

He then expressed an interest in returning after Christmas when the ascension of Guzan rendered his original decision pointless, but Giovanni Trapattoni decided against recalling him, preferring instead to give David Forde his chance.

Irish Independent