Swans set to offer Shay Given route back to big time
Swansea City's manager Michael Laudrup has placed former Irish international Shay Given on a three-man shortlist to step in as an emergency short-term replacement for the club's injured goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Vorm is nursing a knee injury, which resulted in his absence from the Welsh side for Monday's Premier League game against Hull. And if an operation is required to solve the problem then Laudrup is preparing a back-up plan which entails entering the transfer market in January.
Given's willingness to move to south Wales is not in doubt. Having fallen down the pecking order at Aston Villa, the 37-year-old has thrived under the responsibility of being a No 1 again after moving on loan to Middlesbrough at the end of last month.
That deal expires on December 27 and is unlikely to be extended -- as the club's regular goalkeeper Jason Steele will be available again after completing a three-match suspension.
"We will have to make a decision about surgery for Michel at some point," said Laudrup.
"We are not talking about a long-term absence but it may be something that just has to be done."
Meanwhile, another Irish international, Aiden McGeady, has also appeared on the radar of Premier League managers, as Newcastle United's Alan Pardew has joined Roberto Martinez on the hunt for the Spartak Moscow winger.
McGeady's contract expires in May -- although Martinez and Everton have already made an attempt to sign the Glaswegian on a pre-contractual agreement. Alerted to this possibility, Newcastle have also sent out feelers to see if the 27-year-old could be persuaded to move to the north-east of England.
Mick McCarthy, meanwhile, is hoping to persuade Stephen Hunt to prolong his stay at Ipswich Town. Having picked the former Irish winger off the football scrapheap, by offering him a short-term pay-as-you-play deal, McCarthy is now in a position to give him an 18-month contract.
"We want to keep Stephen, but are aware that he may get a better deal elsewhere," said McCarthy.
However, after being stung by Blackpool -- where Hunt spent an unhappy month on trial -- the temptation to continue playing under a manager he respects and trusts could prove vital in convincing the Waterford-man to accept Ipswich's £6,000-a-week offer.
Richard Dunne was also the recipient of good news yesterday as it emerged that his contract talks have reached a positive conclusion.
Dunne, who signed an initial one-year deal at QPR will have his contract extended by 12 months once he plays 25 games for the Londoners.
He has featured 18 times for Harry Redknapp's side this season.