Celtic steal march on EPL rivals for headline summer signing

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Manchester City's No.2 Shay Given has emerged as a summer transfer target for Celtic according to the Daily Mirror.

The 35-year-old Republic of Ireland international has been linked with moves to Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United in recent months.

However, Roberto Mancini is reluctant to sell such a talented stopper to one of City's Barclays Premier League rivals, but he may consider an offer from Celtic should Given wish to leave Eastlands.

Given has endured a nightmare spell with the Citizens playing second-fiddle to Joe Hart, who himself has been in impressive form this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was rumoured to have made an enquiry as to Given's availability in the January transfer window, but was immediately knocked back from making an approach.


Wenger instead opted for Gunners veteran Jens Lehmann who came out of retirement to sign a short-term deal at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the season.

Manchester United are also stepping up their search for a replacement for the retiring Edwin Van der Sar, who will hang up his gloves at Old Trafford at the end of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson is said to have a number of options in mind, but also declared an interest in Given, who would have caused uproar if he decided to switch loyalties from current club City to Manchester United.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp has also been credited with an interest amidst growing speculation that Heurelio Gomes will leave White Hart Lane this summer after a series of calamitous errors for Spurs this season.

The Bhoys are poised to step up their interest in Given, with manager Neil Lennon keen to bring a headline signing to Parkhead when the transfer window reopens in June.

A move to Celtic will still give Given the chance to challenge for titles as well as play European football, and a transfer to Celtic Park would also see his career come full circle, back to the Glasgow club where Given began his career as an apprentice with the Hoops in 1990.

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