Middlesbrough close to completing Shay Given transfer

Shay GivenMiddlesbrough are hoping to complete the permanent signing of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given.

According to reports the 39-year-old Aston Villa stopper is to be released from the final year of his contract at Villa Park and will move back to the Riverside Stadium, where he spent three months on loan last season.

Given, who has also played in the north-east for Sunderland and Newcastle, made just 10 appearances for Villa last season, seven of them in the domestic cup competitions including the FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal in May.

But he has re-established himself as Ireland’s number one in recent months and earned his 130th senior cap against Scotland last month after initially retiring from international football following the Euro 2012 finals.