Shay Given is on the verge of extending his loan spell at Middlesbrough until the end of the season.
The Lifford native is keen on the idea of staying on Teeside having kept six clean sheets in his last eight games as Middlesbrough, who are currently 10th in the Championship, have played themselves into contention for the promotion play-offs.
Given is currently on loan in the north-east from Aston Villa until the end of February but should it be stretched to May, the deal must be signed by 11pm on Friday, Janaury 31.
Football League rules state that a player’s emergency loan can only amount to 93 days in total. That is due to come to an end on February 28, meaning Given’s last appearance is due to be against Leeds six days earlier.
The only way Boro manager Aitor Karanka can guarantee to have the 37-year-old beyond that time is for Middlesbrough to reach an agreement for a standard loan between two transfer windows before the 11pm deadline on Friday, January 31.
“The deal has to be done by the end of January if I’m to stay for the rest of the season, Given said last week. “That’s something that will have to be talked about in the next week.”
Middlesbrough, who travel to Donacaster on Saturday, are also said to be keen on bringing in Given’s former Republic of Ireland teammate Kevin Doyle from Wolves.