AMSTERDAM — Free agent netminder Brad Guzan is on the verge of re-signing with Aston Villa to battle incumbent Shay Given for the starting job, manager Paul Lambert revealed on Monday.
Despite interest from several clubs in England's top two divisions, sources have confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that Guzan will soon sign a three-year deal to remain at Villa Park.
"It's near," Lambert told the Birmingham Mail. "I've watched Brad and some of his games when he was in the team last year and he was excellent."
Apart from a 2010-11 loan spell with Hull City, Guzan had been limited to cup matches and one EPL substitute appearance during the initial four-year contract he signed upon joining Villa from Chivas USA in 2008. However, last season, the 27-year-old Chicago-area native performed well in seven league starts when Given was out with an injury. Now, the new manager has thrown the starting job open for competition, compelling Guzan to return.
"I know he's always had that stigma of being the No. 2 behind some really good goalkeepers here," said Lambert. "But when you come back at the start of the season, nobody knows what's going to happen and it depends on whoever does well. Brad played very well the time he was in and maybe he found himself a bit unlucky to be back out."