Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear accepts he may lose goalkeeper Shay Given to Manchester City before the transfer window closes.
Kinnear claims Given is seeking "a new challenge" after 11 years with Newcastle, and revealed City have been persistent with their requests to hold talks with the Republic of Ireland international.
Newcastle - who play City at Eastlands on Wednesday night - on Tuesday denied Steve Harper signing a new contract was linked to Given's possible departure.
Kinnear is now braced for the departure of the 32-year-old goalkeeper, who ranks among the finest and most consistent in the Barclays Premier League.
He told the Chronicle: "I've bent over backwards to keep Shay, and I have told the powers-that-be that he has got to stay.
"But I understand it from Shay's point of view. He's done 11 years here at Newcastle, and I think he wants a new challenge."
Given and his solicitor Michael Kennedy held talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias this week.
The ambitious goalkeeper was signed from Blackburn by Kenny Dalglish in 1997, and has established himself as one of the club's most valuable assets.
Kinnear is desperate to keep Given and said: "It's out of my hands, and I am still waiting for the final outcome. But I think he wants a new challenge and that he wants to speak to Manchester City.
"I would be heartbroken to see him go, because he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. But Man City keep banging on the door to talk to him."
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