Man City ‘will be allowed to bring a keeper on loan’

Shay Given
Manchester City keeper Given was carried off at the Emirates

Manchester City will be given special dispensation to sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan deal until the end of the season, BBC Sport understands.

Shay Given will miss City’s last three games after dislocating a shoulder in the 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday.

Stuart Taylor is also out and Joe Hart is on loan at Birmingham, which leaves only the inexperienced Gunnar Nielsen.

Spokesmen for Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool said they had “no comment” on the Premier League ruling.

City, Villa, Spurs and Liverpool are all vying for fourth place in the final domestic league table, which comes with the chance of additional millions of pounds from a lucrative run in the Champions League.

Only two points separate the four teams, with City taking on Villa at Eastlands on Saturday before heading to Spurs on 5 May.

Last month Chelsea faced a similar goalkeeping crisis, when Ross Turnbull was their only fit goalkeeper for the league game against West Ham, with the west Londoners promoting academy product Rhys Taylor to the bench.

Faroe Islands international Nielsen had never played in the Premier League until the last 17 minutes of the draw at the Emirates, where Given had to leave the field on a stretcher.

However, City boss Roberto Mancini has no back-up for Nielsen and cannot risk losing another stopper at such a crucial stage as the club push for the fourth Champions League place.

Sixth-place City cannot recall England international Hart under the terms of his season-long loan deal at St Andrew’s, while former Arsenal keeper Taylor is still recovering from knee surgery

Republic of Ireland international Given has been an integral figure between the posts for City since joining from Newcastle in February 2009.

His presence forced Hart, 23, to seek first-team opportunities outside of Eastlands.

606: DEBATE

Nielsen joined City in 2009 on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers after a loan spell with Blue Square Premier side Wrexham.

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