Manchester City make Fulop approach

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The Independent Online

Manchester City have sounded out Sunderland over the availability of goalkeeper Marton Fulop as they await permission to sign a replacement for the injured Shay Given.

City were left without an experienced senior goalkeeper when Republic of Ireland international Given dislocated his shoulder at the weekend.

Joe Hart is currently on loan at Birmingham and Stuart Taylor is on his way back from a knee injury, and reports today claimed the Eastlands club are attempting to recall Hart from his spell at St Andrews.

However, Press Association Sport understands there has been contact with the Black Cats over Hungary international Fulop, who is currently number three at the Stadium of Light and seemingly heading for the exit after making his desperation for first-team football abundantly clear.

Manager Steve Bruce admitted earlier this season that he would not stand in the 26-year-old's way should the right offer come along.

However, whether he is the man to answer City's call will depend upon the club being given permission to strike an emergency loan deal, and that in turn could rest on the success or otherwise of any bid to recall Hart.

Roberto Mancini's men currently lie in sixth position in the Barclays Premier League table with three games remaining, but are just a point adrift of both Tottenham and Aston Villa, their rivals for a top-four finish.

Fulop arrived on Wearside on a loan deal from Tottenham in November 2006 as Ben Alnwick moved in the opposite direction, and the transfer became permanent during the following January.

He has had to remain patient, but got his big chance last season when, after £9million man Craig Gordon succumbed to an ankle injury, he started 24 of the next 26 games.

Fulop began the current campaign as number one, but lost his place to the Scotland international again, although he regained his it in November when Gordon broke his arm at Spurs.

The former Hearts man returned in January and has been the man in possession ever since with Trevor Carson having taken the Hungarian's place on the bench.

Speaking last month about Fulop's desire to move on, Bruce said: "He has made it pretty clear in all sorts of interviews. He is not the number one - I have made my choice there.

"He wants to go and play football and we have to respect that and if there is a taker out there, then we will see what happens. But certainly, I won't stand in his way."

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