Celtic not a step down - Given

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Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given has refused to rule out a move to Celtic after insisting a switch to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League would not be a step down for him.

The 35-year-old has spent most of the season warming the bench as second choice behind Joe Hart at Eastlands. Celtic boss Neil Lennon recently hailed Given as "a top, top goalkeeper" but acknowledged he would cost a lot of money to recruit.

Asked if a switch to the SPL would be a step down, Given said: "Not if you're playing with Celtic, it's not. It's a great club, with an unbelievable history, so I wouldn't look at it as a step down. It's a fantastic club but it's too soon to say what's going to happen or if that's going to happen. But you never say never when Celtic come calling."

Given, a former Parkhead youth team player, added: "It's no secret I'm a big Celtic supporter and have been all my life. I don't know what their goalkeeping situation is."

A goalkeeper will be high on Lennon's agenda this summer, with Fraser Forster having now returned to Newcastle following the end of his loan spell, which is unlikely to be repeated at the Glasgow giants.


"Fraser Forster had a very good season up there and there has been talk of him moving on a permanent basis so we would have to wait and see," Given said. "Ideally, I would like to be playing but it's out of my hands. If Manchester City want me, I've got another two years left on my contract. I don't really know what's going to happen.

"After that we will see what comes up - if there are options to play somewhere. If not, I'll go back to Manchester City pre-season and get my head down and go again."

Lennon looks set to sign a new contract with the Hoops despite missing out on the SPL title to rivals Rangers, and Given has been impressed by the Celtic boss.

He said: "He's had a difficult season with all the off-field stuff and a lot of lesser men would have walked away from the job.

"It was brilliant to see him picking up the Scottish Cup at the weekend, although I think the biggest disappointment was the game they lost at Inverness. But there is always next year to go for the league and I'm sure Neil will be working extremely hard over the summer to strengthen the squad and come back stronger."

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