Karanka wants Given at Boro for rest of season
MIDDLESBROUGH boss Aitor Karanka is confident he can secure the services of Shay Given until the end of the season.
Given has starred for Boro since joining on loan from Aston Villa, registering a third clean sheet on the trot in Sunday's win over Reading, but he is due to return to his parent club after tomorrow's Championship encounter with Bolton.
He joined on an emergency loan at the end of November and Middlesbrough initially floated the possibility of keeping the 37-year-old for a second month. But Given wants more than that.
After a year without football, he wants regular action until the end of the season and Karanka has intimated that he is keen to make it happen.
"Shay is very important for us because he brings a lot of experience and that transmits itself to the players in front of him," said Karanka.
"The club is working very hard to keep him because we know how important it is to have Shay here. And the most important thing is that Shay is very happy here, he is a big part of the changing-room.
"Shay wants to stay, we want him to stay, he says he is happy here and he is playing well."
The opening at Middlesbrough only came about when their No 1 Jason Steele picked up a three-match suspension for a red card. He has since picked up an ankle injury which has put pressure on Boro to resolve Given's situation quickly.
He has two and a half years remaining on his £60,000-a-week Villa contract which is a major obstacle to a permanent move. Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has also eyed him up as a loan option.
The veteran netminder has indicated that he would consider a return to international football and Martin O'Neill is prepared to speak to the Donegal man about the possibility of resuming an Irish career that ended after Euro 2012.