Given hints at Newcastle exit

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Shay Given is considering his Newcastle future after reaching the "lowest point of his football career" during last weekend's 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool, the player's lawyer has claimed.

The future of the Magpies goalkeeper has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City believed to be interested in signing the 32-year-old, who was in inspired form against the Reds despite the scoreline.

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear this week insisted Given would not be allowed to leave in the transfer window but the Ireland International's lawyer, Michael Kennedy, claims the player "feels compelled to consider his position" due to "turmoil on and off the pitch" at St James' Park.

In a statement released late on Thursday, Kennedy gave the strongest indication yet that Given is about to bring an end to his 11-year association with the Barclays Premier League outfit

"Shay is very despondent following the very poor performance of the team against Liverpool last weekend," read Kennedy's statement.

"It was the lowest point of his football career and a performance that he would not wish to be repeated.

"When he signed a new five-year contract in 2006 it was on the basis that the club would challenge for major honours, but on the present evidence all that he can see ahead with the turmoil on and off the pitch is a battle for survival.

"Having served the club loyally for over 11 years, Shay feels compelled to consider his position in the light of the interest being expressed in him by Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham."

Sunday's crushing defeat against Liverpool marked Given's 459th appearance for the Magpies since joining from Blackburn in a £1.5million deal in 1997.

Newcastle's well-documented tribulations over the past few months took a fresh twist last weekend when owner Mike Ashley took the club off the market after failing to find a buyer for the Tyneside club.

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