Brad Guzan
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American Exports: Guzan poised to leave Aston Vila

AMSTERDAM – Despite recent UK rumors of a summer departure for Aston Villa starter Shay Given, his backup, Brad Guzan, has confirmed he will be leaving the club as a free agent.

As the American's deal dwindled down in recent months, confirmed interest shown by the likes of Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and former loan employers Hull City.

Now, Guzan will get to pick his next employer from the open market with designs on a No. 1 jersey.

"For me, my first and foremost priority is sorting out my club situation because at my age I need to be playing games," Guzan told Birmingham daily Express & Star. "I think I’ve proven, not only to myself but to my teammates and to coaches, that I can play at the highest level."

In four seasons as the back-up at Villa Park, the 27-year-old worked mostly cup matches among 32 appearances. Guzan finally got his first EPL nod for the club when Given was injured this winter, notching 24 saves from six straight starts.

"When you get that taste of first-team experience you want more of it, and for me, getting the yank and going back to a backup role was frustrating," he admitted. "At the top level, you may only get one chance and when you get that chance you have to take it.

"Fortunately for me, I think I was able to when I came in and now hopefully I’m able to reap the benefits in terms of going somewhere and getting a starting spot."