Stoke line up deal for Shay Given as Begovic replacement

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Shay Given's proposed move to Middlesbrough could be on the rocks now, as Stoke City have been alerted to the Irish international's current situation and are reportedly poised to swoop in for the veteran keeper, as per Sky Sports.

Set to be released from Aston Villa following the final year of his contract, Donegal-born Shay Given was initially tipped to be joining Middlesbrough, whom he has played for in the past, on a free transfer.

Given ability

However it seems that Premier League rivals Stoke feel there is still some ability left in 39-year-old Given.

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The ageing 'keeper has spent the best part of 15 years in the top flight of English football and was supposed to bring the curtain down on that after a loan move to Middlesbrough in 2013 signalled the end of his career at Villa.

However, a rejuvenation of form and clear vitality put him back in the first-team for the Villains and spurred on a recall to international duty. Ultimately it led to Given re-living some of his best years last term, having helped Aston Villa escape relegation and reach an FA Cup final.

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Stoke chance

Stoke have obviously realised the opportunity at hand and will be quick to plug the massive gap left by the pending departure of Asmir Begovic. 

It will spell bad news for Boro, who thought that a two year deal for the stopper had all been finalised.

Stoke are busy preparing for their pre-season tour of Singapore later this week and had initially included Begovic in their party. Now though a deal to get in a replacement will hopefully be wrapped up before then, with Given clearly the man they want to compete with Jack Butland.

Stoke City fans, is Given good enough to be your goalkeeper next season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.

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