Despite his desire to head north and represent Celtic before his career comes to an end, the likelihood is that Shay Given will have little choice in what pair of posts he will stand in next season.
Things haven't exactly gone to plan since Given's transfer from Newcastle United to Manchester City two seasons ago. Given found himself on the City bench last season after the emergence of Joe Hart during his loan spell at Birmingham earned him the starting role.
Given may be 35 years of age but his performances for Ireland prove that he still has a lot to offer a Premiership team while Giovanni Trappatoni has expressed that he believes Given can play well into his forties.
Where Given will play however, is somewhat less clear. Here are a few options that would serve the Donegal native well.Newcastle United:
Given was loved at Newcastle. He would be returning to comfortable surroundings with a team that is much better off than it was when he left. Steve Harper and Tim Krul may have done a good job since replacing Given but neither player has played to his level since he left. I doubt any Newcastle fan would have an issue with him returning.Wolverhampton Wanderers:
There is a large Irish contingent at the midlands club as Kevin Doyle, Kevin Foley, Stephen Hunt, Stephen Ward and Andy Keogh are the notable names. Given would be a good fit for the team also as they have currently lost veteran keeper Marcus Hahnemann who was never on Given's level either way.
Wayne Hennessey remains but has yet to firmly establish himself as a quality Premier League goalkeeper. Given would be an instant improvement over Hennessey and give the team better consistency at the position.Arsenal:
Shay Given was used to playing behind dodgy defenses in Newcastle so the task of joining Arsene Wenger's men wouldn't be so daunting. Given would be a perfect fit with a Champions League team.
The only problem with this is that Man City likely won't sell to a team that they consider a rival. Just ask Craig Bellamy who wasn't allowed go to another Premier League club.Aston Villa:
Harry Redknapp recently added Aston Villa's Brad Friedel to the Tottenham squad on a free transfer. This has left a gaping hole at Villa Park. While Villa at the moment are a club in complete disarray, the imminent appointment of Alex McLeish should bring some stability to the team.
Shay Given needs to leave Manchester City if he is to continue to meet his own high standards with the national side. Regular first team football will come at each of the respective clubs listed above.
It is important that Given plays at the highest level rather than dropping a division which in turn lowers the standard of competition.
Shay Given is a long way from retiring internationally, he may be even further from it at club level.