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Friday, January 30, 2009
Newcastle allow Given to begin Man City talks

Soccernet staff

Shay Given has finally got his wish and been granted permission by Newcastle Untied to open talks with Manchester City over a move to Eastlands.

It is believed that Given handed in a formal transfer request late on Thursday in order to secure a move before Monday's transfer deadline.

Although a fee has yet to be agreed for the Republic of Ireland international, earlier this week Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear revealed that the Magpies were disappointed with City's 5m offer, which suggests a deal will not be finalised unless the Manchester club increase their bid.

''We have had approaches for Shay - serious approaches from Man City,'' said Kinnear earlier this week.

''Irrespective of all the stories, they've offered 5m and not a penny more. We think it's an insult to offer that for the best keeper in the Premier League.

''It's a derisory offer. But Shay has made it clear he wants to leave. I wasn't involved too much with the meeting between the owner (Mike Ashley), Shay and his agent when they tried to thrash it out.

''But as far as I know, the owner and the managing director (Derek Llambias) were unhappy they've only been offered 5m.

''That's where we stand. I don't want to lose him - I'm fighting a relegation battle.''

Given did not figure in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, with Kinnear citing injury for the reason the player was not in his squad.

Meanwhile, Kinnear has confirmed Michael Owen suffered ankle ligament damage during the Magpies' defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday and will be out for up to six weeks.

The England striker limped off 19 minutes into the 2-1 defeat at Eastlands after falling awkwardly on his left ankle following an aerial challenge.

''We will be without Michael now for between four and six weeks,'' Kinnear told Newcastle's official website.

The Magpies also lost Joey Barton to a metatarsal injury in the match and Owen's latest injury setback puts further pressure on Kinnear and his team, who face Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday.

''It's a big blow and the injuries are mounting up,'' Kinnear added. ''Joey Barton is also missing for about 10 weeks but we have to soldier on and put out the best team we can.''

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