Given happy to stay a Magpie
Published 12/07/2008 | 08:00
Shay Given has committed his future to Newcastle amid speculation he is wanted by Arsenal.
The 32-year-old Irishman insists he is happy at St James’ Park 10 years after his arrival and is focussing only on the club’s drive to establish themselves back among the Barclays Premier League’s elite.
Arsene Wenger is known to be an admirer of the Lifford-born goalkeeper and is understood to have identified him as a possible target.
However, Given claims he has heard nothing and is concentrating on the task of regaining full fitness after the groin surgery which allowed Steve Harper to establish himself in the side at the end of last season.
The Republic of Ireland international said: "I don’t know where the story came from.
"I have said all along that I’m extremely happy living and playing here in Newcastle. I want to help to move this club forward.
"Hopefully we will get new players in and strengthen the squad. We want to get this place going."
Given added: "I am just raring to go and ready to play football again. It has been a long close season and it was a long end to the season as well. I was working on fitness towards the end of last season and continued that throughout the summer. I feel as fit and strong as I have ever felt."
Meanwhile, French midfielder Charles N'Zogbia has dealt Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan a blow by admitting he is still keen on a move, with Premier League rivals Arsenal a preferred destination.
The 22-year-old has been unsettled on Tyneside for some time and told the manager of his misgivings shortly after his return to St James' Park in January.
N'Zogbia said: "At the end of last season, I didn't play a lot, so that has given me desire to play somewhere else. When I will talk with the coach, it will be clearer. My priority is to play."