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Given completes Man City transfer

Shay Given
Given moved to St James' Park from Blackburn Rovers in 1997

Manchester City have secured the signature of goalkeeper Shay Given from Newcastle for an undisclosed fee.

Given has agreed a four-and-a-half year contract and returns to north-west England where his Premier League career began with Blackburn in 1994.

The 32-year-old underwent a medical on Sunday while Newcastle were playing Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.

City boss Mark Hughes said: "I am delighted that we have been able to acquire such an accomplished keeper."

Given played 461 games for the Magpies after joining for 1.5m from Blackburn Rovers in 1997.

"It's exciting times at Manchester City with the new owners and this manager," Given told City's official website. "There are big plans for the club.

"I am very excited to be joining and delighted that Manchester City wanted my services, I'm happy that the two clubs could come to an agreement..

The profile of the Club has changed dramatically - there are already some fantastic players here, it looks like some good players will come in and I' m sure the fans must be on the edge of their seats

Shay Given

"I have two young kids, I had just moved house in Newcastle and there were a few things that could have made me stay there. I have a lot of friends there, and the supporters there are fantastic. They have been great to me for so many years, and I thank them for that

"But I just felt that this was an opportunity for me to come to a club that in my opinion are really going to be going places. It's a new chapter in my life and one I am looking forward to.

Hughes added: "I have said for a long time that we need the experience of a keeper like Shay. I have had a good talk with him about where we expect to be in the future.

"From a football point of view, and a club point of view, it's an easy thing to sell because we know we are going in the right direction. Players want to be part of that."

Given was first-choice keeper at St James' Park and manager Joe Kinnear was adamant the club would have to be properly compensated for selling a player he believed to be the best in his position in the country.

606: DEBATE
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It is thought Newcastle wanted a fee of about 8m for the Republic of Ireland international with City's original offer of 5m described at the time by Kinnear as "insulting".

On Tuesday, Newcastle keeper Steve Harper, who was a long-term second choice behind Given, signed a new three-year deal with the club and played in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

Given will replace youngster Joe Hart as City's first-choice keeper and is Hughes's fourth signing in the transfer window, following the captures of Wayne Bridge, Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong.

"The profile of the Club has changed dramatically, and there are already some fantastic players here," Given added. "It looks like some good players will come here in the future as well, and I am sure the fans must be on the edge of their seats to see who comes here.

"There is already the nucleus of a very good team here, and I hope I can add to that. I am just delighted that they have chosen me to strengthen their goalkeeping department as well."

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see also
Ben Haim set for Sunderland move
01 Feb 09 |  Sunderland
Reds reject Newcastle Hyypia move
01 Feb 09 |  Newcastle
Newcastle 1-1 Sunderland
01 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Harper extends deal at Newcastle
27 Jan 09 |  Newcastle
No problem with Given - Kinnear
02 Jan 09 |  Football
Kinnear rules out Given departure
02 Jan 09 |  Newcastle


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