Kinnear could not persuade Given to stay

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The Independent Football

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear has admitted there was nothing he could do to persuade Shay Given to stay at the club.

The 32-year-old Irishman was officially unveiled to the media as a Manchester City player this morning after completing his move from St James' Park for an undisclosed fee, understood to be around £8m, on Monday.

Given today admitted he had to leave Tyneside after more than 11 years to fulfil his dream of winning trophies, something he did not manage to do, despite a series of near misses, during his time with the Magpies.

He also voiced his disappointment at the club's recent decline from Champions League contenders to potential relegation candidates, and criticised the regime put in place by owner Mike Ashley.

However, Kinnear was diplomatic in his response to Given's comments.

He said: "I have always had a great relationship with Shay. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"I would be the last person in the world who would want to sell him, but these things happen.

"Shay made it very clear. He put the transfer request in and I passed it on to the board of directors and the chairman, and that was it."

Given's departure, along with that of troublesome midfielder Charles N'Zogbia, prompted a late, but ultimately fruitless, flurry of activity with Ashley, managing director Derek Llambias and Kinnear trying desperately to bolster the squad during the final few hours of the transfer window.

However, they failed with last-gasp bids for Manchester City's Michael Johnson and Sunderland's Kieran Richardson as their hopes dwindled away.

Having voiced his intention to recruit "four or five" players at the beginning of January, the manager managed to get only three - Kevin Nolan, Ryan Taylor and Peter Lovenkrands - while at the same time losing two of his bigger names.

But with Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins and Alan Smith all in contention for Saturday's vital trip to bottom-of-the-table West Brom and Michael Owen recovering well from his ankle injury, Kinnear is confident he has enough at his disposal to fight off the spectre of relegation.

Kinnear said: "Obviously, I would have been much happier if I had got Johnson and Kieran in, but the players who are coming back now will make a massive boost to the squad we have.

"It was very thin and that's the reason why we were going for so many players. But now they are back, I think we are fine, we are okay.

"Of course I am disappointed I didn't get the other two, but it wasn't for the want of trying. We put the cash down and they said no.

"But who knows what's going to happen in the summer?"

One thing which will not be resolved until the summer is Kinnear's own future.

He revealed several weeks ago that he had been offered a new two-year contract to remain as manager, but he insists he will not even consider it until he has dragged the club to safety.

He said: "My contract situation is exactly as it was. It is sitting in my draw in my desk, and I will address that at the end of the season.

"We have agreed the contract and it's there on the table, and we have had a meeting about the future of the club.

"But we came to the conclusion that the best decision to make was to get around the table again at the end of the season.

"We have talked about what is the best way to take Newcastle forward.

"I have had a fantastic offer, but we shook hands on it and said we would address it at the end of the season.

"It's all about survival. Before the club can take the next step, it's about us cementing ourselves in the Premier League."