Doncaster Rovers targets loan deals

Championship club Doncaster Rovers have targeted former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given and Southampton front man Billy Sharp on loan as they look to add depth to the club to mount another challenge for a return to the top flight of English football.

Paul Dickov, the manager of the club has confirmed that they have made enquiries with their respective clubs to take the players on a season long loan deal but admitted that the deals are nowhere near completion. Given, a Republic of Ireland international, has fallen behind American goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the pecking order under Paul Lambert at Aston Villa. Meanwhile Sharp, who had a successful spell at Rovers before, scoring 41 times in 86 matches played last season on loan at fellow Championship club Nottingham Forest.

Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, the former Manchester City player stated that they were still waiting to hear back from the respective clubs. He mentioned that the club made an enquiry to bring Shay Given to the club on loan a couple of weeks back before adding that Sharp is a player who is thought of highly at the club and the club did lodge an official offer of a loan deal sometime back as well.

The striker left the club in 2012 to join the Saints as he helped them win promotion back to the Premier League but he only got a handful of matches in the top flight before being farmed out on loan. However, Dickov has denied that he has any interest in bringing Stephen Ireland, a former Manchester City midfielder who currently plays with Shay Given at Aston Villa to the club.

He vehemently denied that there were any enquiries into the availability of Ireland, who is a friend of the manager and added that the media is putting two and two together.


Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised striker Christian Benteke by saying that he is now worth close to £ 25 million after an impressive debut season in the Premier league. Aston Villa secured the signing of the 22-year-old from the Belgian club Genk in the summer. They paid around £ 7 million for this signature, which is looking like a great bargain after the striker has been able to terrorise defences with his presence on the field. Benteke is currently level with Chelsea striker Demba Ba after having scored 15 goals in the league this season.

Lambert has said that going by the potential transfer values of the players, Benteke could be worth around £ 25 million. Even though Benteke struggled to settle during his initial few months at Chelsea, he has been able to almost single-handedly help Aston Villa get out of the relegation zone. His impressive form has also meant that Darren Bent, who was signed by the club for £ 24 million, has been unable to feature regularly in the first-team.

Benteke has been touted as a potential transfer target for the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea in the summer. However, Lambert has said that he will certainly wait before offering the striker a new contract. Aston Villa have managed three wins in the last five matches.

“He is hot property. If you wanted to prise Christian away from here you would want a sizeable cheque, that is for sure. He has the potential to be fantastic. If you look at modern day figures then £25m is probably a good start. We can’t stop people looking at him but he is under contract here. He is enjoying his football at the moment and doing fantastically well. I will wait until the end of the season and I will sit with people,” said Lambert.


The manager of Aston Villa, Paul Lambert, has said that he is talking to Andreas Weimann about the extension of contract and hopefully, he would be able to convince the 21 years old Austrian striker to sign a new deal.

There have been a few reports that Villa management wants to cut down the weekly wages of Weimann and the striker is not happy about it. So, he might be leaving the club after the completion of his contract.

Weimann was signed by Aston villa in 2007 when he was just 16 years old. He played for the youth team for Villa for 3 years. In the 2010-11 season, he got the chance to feature for the first team of Villa.

However, he didn’t get too many playing opportunities in the first half of the 2010-11 season and was placed on loan to Watford in the second half of the season.

Weimann’s form in the ongoing season has been quite good. He has looked in fine nick and is one of the few Villa players who have performed consistently in this season.

Weimann’s contract with Villa will finish at the end of the 2013-14 season.

When asked about Weimann’s contract extension, Lambert said, “I am trying to persuade him to stay here. He has been in superb form off late and we want him to sign a new deal. But, there are a few issues which need to be resolved. Hopefully, we would reach an agreement with him pretty soon.”

However, a few days back, Weimann had written on his Twitter account that the reports about him wanting to leave Villa are not true and he has no issues with anyone in the Villa camp.
Weimann has featured for Villa in 34 matches so far and has scored 7 goals.


The goalkeeper of Aston Villa, Shay Given, has said that he is satisfied with his performance in the FA Cup match against Ipswich Town and he hopes that he would get another starting opportunity in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup match against Bradford City.

Given has not started too many matches for Villa in the ongoing season. He has been given starting opportunities in only a couple of Premier League matches so far in this season. He had started the season as the first choice goalkeeper for Paul Lambert, but, after his disappointing performances in the first few games, the American goalkeeper, Brad Guzan took his place.

However, in the FA Cup match against Ipswich town, Given looked in fine form. He made two brilliant saves and helped his team securing a victory. After his impressive performance against Ipswich, he is expected to be included in the starting XI again in the next match against Bradford City.

When asked if it’s frustrating to sit on the bench in most of the matches, Given said, “Yes, it is a bit frustrating. As a player, you don’t want to watch the proceedings from outside. You want to be out there on the field stopping balls for your team. But, it happens in team sports. When you lose form, you have to sit out. I wasn’t in the best of forms at the start of the season and that’s why I lost my place.”

“It’s nice that I am back. I am pretty happy with the way I performed against Ipswich Town. I didn’t make too many mistakes and hopefully, the manager would give me another go against Bradford City.”

There have been a few reports that Given wants to play for his national side Ireland again. When asked about that, Given said, “I haven’t taken any decision yet. I need to talk to the manger of the Ireland team before announcing anything. But, it’s something which is in my mind at the moment.”


The manager of Aston Villa, Paul Lambert, has made it clear that Shay Given will not be placed on loan to Hull City. In the last few days, there have been reports that Steve Bruce, the manager of Hull City, is interested in signing the veteran goalkeeper on loan and Given might be placed on loan. But, Lambert has said that Given is still quite valuable for Aston Villa and he is not interested in placing him on loan. However, Lambert confirmed that he was approached by the authorities of Hull regarding the loan move of Given.

Given’s weekly salary at Aston Villa is 60,000 Pounds and he still has more than three years left in his contract. He had joined Villa in the last season after leaving Manchester City. Villa had paid a transfer fee of 3 million Pounds for buying Given.

Talking to the reporters ahead of Villa’s match against Arsenal, Lambert said, “We are not going to place Given on loan. He is an experienced player and we need him. He has not been at his best in the ongoing season, but, he is still a vital member of the squad.”

Given had started the match against Manchester City. When asked if the veteran goalkeeper will be given the starting opportunities in the future matches as well, Lambert said, “We have two world class goalkeepers and we are looking to rotate them. But, frankly speaking, Guzan has performed better than Given in this season. So, there is a possibility that we will persist with Guzan in the next few matches.”

When asked whether Darren Bent has recovered from his ankle injury completely, Lambert said, “Yes, Bent has recovered and he is fit to play. He will probably be sent on to the field at some point of time in tomorrow’s match.”


The Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry has said that he is extremely impressed with both Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia. The two players were signed by the club in the summer transfer window for combined outlay of more than £ 30 million.

The former Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell has been regarded as one of the brightest young prospects to come from the famed Everton youth academy. Meanwhile, the Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia has developed a reputation for being an extremely competitive defensive midfielder, who can also score a few goals. The 24-year-old was hugely impressive in the Champions League last season for Benfica.

The former Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry reckons that these two players will provide a lot of strength to the squad, as they look to retain the title they won last season. He has said that he is extremely impressed by the way Jack Rodwell has been able to settle at his new club. Javi Garcia scored in the debut match for his new club Manchester city against Stoke. Gareth Barry has praised Javi Garcia by saying that his English is already perfect and he is confident about settling quickly in the Manchester city first-team.

“Javi García and Jack Rodwell already seem to be settling in well. I know Jack better because he’s an English guy and been playing in the Premier League for a few years and he’s a great addition to the squad. I think he’s done really well in the first few games he’s played and he seems to have bedded in nicely. I’m sure that the longer he’s here and the more games he plays, he’ll get better and better,” said Gareth Barry in a recent interview. Barry has also said that he will certainly miss the Dutch international Nigel de Jong, who left for AC Milan.


Shay Given has been left out of the Ireland squad for a friendly match against Serbia next month. Not only Given, some other senior players of Ireland team have also been left out of the squad. However, the coach of Ireland, Giovanni Trapattoni, has said that some of the senior players might be called back in the team for playing in World Cup Qualifier games. As per Trapattoni, he wants to have a look at some of the young players.

The performance of Ireland was disastrous in the Euro Cup 2012. The team lost all the three group matches against Croatia, Spain and Italy. After the tournament, Trapattoni has been criticized a lot for not giving opportunities to the youngsters in that tournament. Almost all the senior players of Ireland including Given have struggled in the Euro cup. Especially, the performance of Given was below par. Nine goals were scored against Ireland in three games. It seemed that Given’s reflexes have become slow with the age.

Trapattoni said that he sent a text message to Given 15 days ago. In that message, he informed Given that he would not play in the match against Serbia, but, Given didn’t give any reply to the message. The goal keeper of Sunderland, Keiren Westwood, will play in place of Given in the match against Serbia. As per Trapattoni, Westwood would be the first choice goal keeper for the World Cup qualifier games and Given might be included in the team as the reserve goal keeper.

Meanwhile, the new manager of Aston Villa, Paul Lambart, has also said that Given is not a guaranteed selection in the first team of the club in the upcoming season. Lambart said that he is looking to try some young goal keepers and Given might have to sit out of some matches.


Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has said that he will be taking a decision on his international future after returning from the holiday. The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper has been criticised for his performance with the national team at the Euro 2012. However, the Republic of Ireland were participating in this major competition after a gap of more than a decade.

Many fans were extremely pleased to be at this tournament itself. However, there has been stern criticism of some of the experienced players within the squad like Shay Given and Richard Dunne. As a result, the former Newcastle United goalkeeper has revealed that he will soon announce his decision regarding his international future.

Shay Given has been a regular for the Republic of Ireland since the 1990s. If he does decide to bring an end to his international career, it would leave a major void for the national team. Another player who has also been rumoured to retire from international football is Fulham midfielder Damien Duff. The former Chelsea midfielder recently collected his 100th cap for the national team in the match against Italy in the group stages. He has said that he is already aware of the future at international level, but will announce it at a later stage.

“I don’t know yet. It’s too soon after the game to make any rash decisions. I’ll sit down with my kids and my wife and family when I get home and just see what the best plan of action is. Obviously we’ve got a new manager at Aston Villa. I’d like to speak to him and see what’s the best plan for everyone,” said Shay Given regarding his international future. “I know what I’m gonna do but I don’t think it’s the time or the place to start announcing anything like that,” said Damien Duff.


Former Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given has said that he is extremely delighted with Manchester City winning the title this season. The former Newcastle United goalkeeper is currently at Aston Villa after having left Manchester city a few seasons ago in order to get regular first-team football.

A lot of tributes have been coming in on the social networking site Twitter following the dramatic 3-2 final day of the season win over QPR, which sealed the title for Manchester city. For most of the match, it looked like City were going to drop two points that would have given Manchester United the opportunity to lift the 20th Premier league title.

However, two goals in the last 5 min from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero meant that Manchester City were able to snatch a dramatic win in the match. Shay Given spent a few seasons at the Etihad stadium before leaving for Aston Villa. He left for Aston Villa after seeing goalkeeper Joe Hart claim a regular first-team spot. Despite this, he said a few weeks ago that he wants Manchester City to win the title because he still has a lot of friends at the club. His wish has come true after City became only the fifth team to win the league title.

“Congrats to everyone at Manchester City. Really happy for all connected to the club. The blue moon is rising. Enjoy your night!” said Shay Given on Twitter. “Wow!! Speechless!! What an end to the Premier League!! Kun Aguero just handed the Premier League to Manchester City! Congrats to Manchester City!” said former Manchester United defender and current Barcelona defender Gerard Pique after missing the match. Many think that this season has been the most exciting in the Premier league season so far in the 20 seasons that have happened.


Aston Villa’s goalkeeper Shay Given has been ruled out for up to a month after injuring his hamstring in the match against Manchester United. Aston Villa lost the match 1-0, but Alex McLeish will be more worried about the number of players on the injury list. Aston Villa’s loan midfielder Jermaine Jenas has also been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury from the same match, while Shay Given has also suffered the hamstring injury that is set to keep him out at least for the Christmas fixture list.

Aston Villa have been very disappointing since the appointment of Alex McLeish. The fact that Alex McLeish plays a negative brand of football certainly does not help either. Now, the huge injury list means that the pressure will be on Alex McLeish to deliver because that fans are unlikely to give any sympathy for the manager. Following the injury, Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish said that USA international Brad Guzan is set to become the goalkeeper over the next few weeks. Shay Given is regarded as one of the best keepers in the Premier League and Alex McLeish is certainly disappointed to lose him for up to a month.

Aston Villa will be facing the likes of Chelsea during the Christmas fixture list. “It is disappointing to lose Shay in such circumstances but, unfortunately, these things happen in football. We have to meet these challenges and we will. We have total faith in Brad who, as I said after the game against Manchester United on Saturday, can be proud of the way he stepped in when Shay had to come off,” Villa boss Alex McCleish told Aston Villa’s official website. Jermaine Jenas has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.