Villa seal Given signing

Aston Villa have confirmed the arrival of Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given on a five-year contract.The 35-year-old Republic of Ireland international completed a medical at Villa Park over the weekend before finalising his move on Monday for an undisclosed fee, becoming Alex McLeish’s first signing as club manager.

Given joined City in 2009 but found himself play second fiddle behind Joe Hart last English Premier League season, and the lure of first-team football was something that attracted him to the Midlands club.

“Aston Villa is a huge football club and I’m really excited to be joining,” Given told the club’s official website.

“I’m looking forward to training and playing with the players here. They’re a good bunch of lads, very talented and I know several of them already which will help.”

“Everyone knows that I didn’t play enough football last season, so I’m really pleased that I’ll be able to put that right here. Hopefully, this move will get me back to where I was before in the Premier League, which is where every player wants to be playing.”

Before moving to City, Given enjoyed the best times of his career at Newcastle United, making 462 appearances.

Rather than be second choice at City, however, he chose the challenge of moving to Villa and working under their new manager.

“Obviously, I’m also excited to be working with Alex McLeish and it’s going to be a fresh start for everybody at the club this season,” he said.

“It’s also a new challenge and one I’m eager to embrace. My aim is to impress the Aston Villa supporters with my performances and I can’t wait really to get started.”

Following the departure of Brad Friedel to Tottenham in June, McLeish found himself without an experienced number one and moved quickly to secure the services of the Ireland international

“Shay has come here probably with something of a point to prove and that won’t do any harm at all,” McLeish added.

“Everybody who has watched him perform over many years in the Premier League will know his pedigree, so we believe we have secured the services of one of the best goalkeepers in the business.”

“He’s a real competitor and a world-class keeper and I’m delighted he’s the first signing I’ve made at Villa.”