Sport Soccer

Thursday 18 January 2018

Irish boss keen on Italian move for Given

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI would love to deliver a Serie A home for Shay Given after acknowledging that a move away from Manchester City now seems inevitable for the Donegal man.

Last month, Trapattoni had urged Given to be calm when he started the Premier League season on the bench at Eastlands behind Joe Hart.

Trap's assistant Marco Tardelli stressed his confidence that he would win his place back from the young Englishman.

However, Given is now resigned to the role of deputy, with the final nail hammered into the coffin when he was overlooked for last Thursday's Europa League clash with Red Bull Salzburg; it had been assumed that he would at least be given a role in the European campaign.

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton yesterday poured cold water on the suggestion that Given might return to Tyneside on an emergency deal to replace the injured Steve Harper.

And, with attractive options at Premier League level in short supply, the 34-year-old said at the weekend he would contemplate a move abroad to a decent club.

Irish boss Trapattoni says he has recommended Given to friends in Italy, but is unsure how the transfer window will develop in January as it might depend on other individuals being moved on first. Roma are known to be admirers of the player.

"We have already, myself and Marco, spoken with some Italian teams," he says. "In Italy, he is kept in high regard by many.

"But the goalkeeper is a difficult position. There is interest in them, and we have one or two teams who have goalkeepers inferior to them. But there are many situations in Italy, like in England. We can only inform them. We cannot force it."

Given fears that his inactivity at club level will harm his sharpness when it comes to Irish duty. Nevertheless, Trapattoni is confident that he will be fine for next month's double-header with Russia and Slovakia.

He has also spoken to Richard Dunne, and is similarly bullish about his ability to shake off a recurring knee problem.

Irish Independent

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