Arsenal are ready to make a Â£3.5M offer for Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given.
Shay Given – will Newcastle be tempted to sell?
It’s another report in the News of The World today, and we think because Arsenal have been linked with Given in the past, and they are looking for a new goalkeeper, that’s the reason behind the story.
But this time Newcastle just may be willing to sell, because reseve goalkeeper Steve Harper was so consistently good at the end of last season, when Shay was out again with his groin problems.
The 32-year-old Irishman, who has played 86 times for Ireland, is fit again after being out since last February with his groin related injuries.
Arsenal want Given to fill in for the departed German Jens Lehmann, whose contract was not renewed, and he has since moved to Stuttgart.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will not be worried by Given’s age, he turned 32 in April, because Lehmann was 33 when he signed from Borussia Dortmund.
And in any case we think both Steve Harper and Shay have taken such good care of themselves they could well play until they are 40.
Given joined Newcastle United from Blackburn Rovers for Â£1.5M in the summer of 1997, and he has played close to 400 games for Newcastle United, and consistently has been one of the top five Premier League keepers each season.
He’s one of Newcastle’s best ever signings, and we think the best keeper ever to play for Newcastle, just edging out the great Scot, Ronnie Simpson of the 1950s. who went on to star for Celtic under Jock Stein after leaving Newcastle in 1960.
Ronnie left Newcastle for Hibs when he was 30 years old in 1960, and after 4 seasons there, went to Glasgow Celtic from 1964-1970, and played for the Scottish giants 118 times, until he was 40 years old.
This may come as a surprise to Newcastle fans, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle let Shay move on, although of course he and his family are very settled in Newcastle.
However, the Â£3.5M fee seems too low.
We have two top 20 year-old goalkeepers in Hexham-born local boy Fraser Forster, and Dutchman Tim Krul, who could both back up Steve next season.