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Veteran goalkeeper would be behind Fraser Forster in Celtic pecking order while Irish captain again linked with move to Villa

The Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert, admits that he understands why reserve goalkeeper Shay Given would be linked with a winter move north of the border to Celtic but believes that the 36-year-old would be behind 'world class' Fraser Forster in the pecking order at Parkhead.

Given lost his place to Brad Guzan between the posts at Villa Park this season and reports suggest he would be interested in a move back to his former club Celtic.

Lambert, a former Celtic player, told the press on Friday: "I think any Irish lad would love to play for Celtic because of the club it is.

"But they’ve got a goalkeeper up there at the minute who I had the pleasure of working with for a year, in Fraser Forster.

"I said at the time he was going to be world-class and I still stand by that — I think he’s going to be an absolutely unbelievable goalkeeper.

"Shay being the age he is, I can see why [that story is around]. Was he not at Celtic when he was younger?

"He knows the club and the background of it and what it stands for. I don’t know, but I think if you ask most Irish lads they would want to play there. Robbie Keane’s done it, Roy Keane’s done it."

Meanwhile, Villa have been linked with a move for the Ireland captain Robbie Keane during the January transfer window once the current MLS season finishes.

Keane, 32, has scored 20 goals in 32 matches for the LA Galaxy in 2012, including two in last week's western conference play-off first leg against Seattle Sounders.

Lambert is an admirer of the Ireland record goalscorer, who scored three goals in seven matches for Villa last season, but will not be making any transfer plans until closer to the new year.

He said: "Robbie Keane is a brilliant player and has been over the years, but I don’t know the situation there at all. When January gets closer I’ll start to think about things."