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Given left in limbo as hart steps in for city

SHAY Given is snookered -- and it looks like he has Fabio Capello to thank for the fact that he was warming the bench while Joe Hart took control of the Manchester City goalkeeper's shirt.

The presence of the England manager at White Hart Lane for Manchester City's tussle with Spurs seemed to confirm Given's fears that Roberto Mancini has been under pressure to facilitate Capello by starting Hart ahead of Ireland's No 1 goalkeeper.

A week ago, when Given was asked whether he felt that the fall-out from England's disastrous World Cup would put pressure on Mancini to start the season with Hart, he said: "I think you might have a strong point there."

Given's options don't look too enticing. Any chance of a move to Arsenal would seem problematic, with Mark Schwarzer set to sign from Fulham within the next few days.

Both Mark Hughes and Neil Lennon will be watching events at Eastlands over the coming week with great interest but Fulham and Celtic hardly seem like attractive destinations and both clubs would struggle to match Given's City wage packet.

Given signed for City in the hope that the financial revolution taking place there would ultimately lead to the silverware he desperately craves.

Now he finds himself sitting in a cul de sac -- with no obvious escape route.