City poised to sign Fulop on special loan

MANCHESTER City are today expected to be granted special dispensation to sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan deal until the end of the season.

Sunderland’s Marton Fulop, who is out-of-favour at the Stadium of Light, is believed to be the preferred candidate for a three-match contract.

City made a plea to the Premier League yesterday for permission to sign a player outside of the transfer window after first-choice stopper Shay Given was ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

Given’s absence with a dislocated shoulder leaves the Champions League-chasing outfit with only one recognised senior goalkeeper, the inexperienced Gunnar Nielsen.

Faroe Islands goalkeeper Nielsen, 23, has made just one top-flight appearance since moving to England in 2008, and that came on Saturday when Given was carried off in agony at Arsenal.

With his side in pole position to beat Tottenham, Aston Villa and Liverpool to fourth place – and a historic spot in the Champions League – manager Roberto Mancini is eager to bring in cover with more pedigree.

Fulop, the Hungary goalkeeper who was previously at Tottenham, is thought to head Mancini’s list of targets and is keen to make the move, calling it an “enormous honour”.

He added: “If the news is true then I’d go there happily and I would be hungry to play for Manchester City.”

City have an ideal replacement for Given on their books in Joe Hart, but sent the 23-year-old on a season-long loan to Birmingham at the start of the campaign. Mancini’s third-choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor is not fit, although he is set to resume training this week following knee surgery.