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Shay a Given to Join Villa After Baggies Snub?

Aston Villa are believed to be on the brink of replacing veteran keeper Brad Friedel with another hardened Premier League pro in 35-year-old Shay Given.

The Manchester City stopper has reportedly rebuffed interest from Midlands rivals West Brom in order to join Alex McLeish’s rebuilding process at Villa Park and the Scot is willing to up his bid to make Given Villa’s number 1 next season.

The Ireland international only signed for City 2 years ago for £7m but was quickly replaced by the return of Joe Hart from his loan spell under McLeish at Birmingham. Villa are thought to be ready to increase their initial bid, which is believed to have been rejected at around £2.5m, to £4m.

Signing Given would put pay to any speculation that Ben Foster could be reunited with his former Blues boss at Villa Park and may come after another potential target, Ali Al-Habsi completes a switch to Wigan.

The former Newcastle keeper didn’t make a single league appearance in Hart’s wake last season and was restricted to Cup outings, playing 9 times in all competitions, conceding 11 goals and keeping 3 clean sheets in the process.

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