Ryan McGivern was last night celebrating the signing of a new two-year contract with Manchester City — but the Northern Ireland defender is set to immediately check out of the Etihad Stadium.
While Roberto Mancini is preparing his team for an assault on the Champions League, McGivern will be playing in the Championship as he is expected to complete a season-long loan deal before tonight’s transfer deadline.
He will then undertake the unenviable task of trying to break into Mancini’s squad of multi-million pound players in 12 months time.
McGivern — who is in the Northern Ireland squad for Friday night’s Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Serbia — figured heavily in City’s pre-season campaign, even scoring in a friendly against Mexican champions Club America, before joining Crystal Palace on-loan.
That month-long deal ran out last weekend and the Eagles are understood to be among a handful of clubs who are interested in having the 21-year-old in their squad for the rest of the season.
Although he had a year left to run on his current deal, Mancini was keen to offer longer terms to McGivern, after being impressed by the Newry-born defender during his pre-season appearances.
McGivern made his first-team debut for City when he appeared as a substitute against Sunderland back in April, two-and-a-half years after winning his first Northern Ireland cap. Mancini had earlier blocked loan moves with the intention of having him in the first-team squad.
He spent the first half of last season on-loan at League One club Walsall and has also spent time with Morecambe and Leicester City.