Newcastle are pleading with the FA for permission to sign a goalkeeper - and Shay Given could be in the frame.
Newcastle's recent run of form has been nothing short of remarkable given the dissatisfaction and vitriol aimed in Alan Pardew's direction, but one situation continues to cause problems.
The Magpies have endured an unprecedented injury crisis in the goalkeeping department. Tim Krul, Rob Elliot and Jak Alnwick are all out injured ahead of Sunday's crucial Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland, which leaves 17-year-old Freddie Woodman as Pardew's only option.
As a result, Newcastle are making a desperate plea to The FA for permission to sign a goalkeeper on loan outside of the transfer window, with a decision surely coming on Friday.
Chelsea's Mark Schwarzer has been touted as a possible addition for Newcastle despite an injury to Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, which means they may have to look elsewhere - and they have been urged to snap up a player who is no stranger to the fierce Tyne-Wear derby.
38-year-old Shay Given made almost 500 appearances during his time with Newcastle, becoming a St. James' Park legend during 11-and-a-half years with the Magpies.
Now though, the former Republic of Ireland international is little more than an afterthought at Aston Villa, exiled under Paul Lambert, though he did impress in a loan spell with Middlesbrough a year ago.
With Newcastle desperate for help between the sticks, Given could be the ideal short-term stop gap for Pardew as he aims to protect teenage Woodman from the ferocity of the derby - and fans are pleading with the club to re-sign Given almost five years after he left for Manchester City.
Would love to see Given inbetween the sticks for the Derby. #NUFC— Antonio Sassetti (@antoniosass) December 18, 2014
OMG OMG OMG Shay Given - emergency loan to play against Sunderland - please please please it would be magic, I would cry so much #NUFC— Liam Curtis (@lcurtis92) December 18, 2014
Villa have no use for Given anymore, Newcastle desperately need an experienced stopper, the fans want him to return and he has the know-how of playing in this famous derby - if The FA grant Newcastle permission to sign a goalkeeper, Given should be near the top of Pardew's wishlist.