Fulham link Shay Given’s shoulder has emerged as the key to resolving the Fulham and Arsenal goalkeeping conondrums.
It is understood that Fulham’s medical team have spent the weekend assessing Given’s medical history details, particularly his recovery from the dislocated shoulder he sustained at the end of last season.
Fulham are prepared to provide Given with the first-team football that he craves after he lost his No.1 shirt to Joe Hart at Manchester City but will only give the green light to a loan move if there is sufficient evidence that his shoulder is fully recovered.
“Checks have been taking place on Given’s medical history,” said a source close to the deal.
“The two clubs have spoken about a loan but there is some doubt about whether it will go through. A shoulder injury is a very difficult injury to get over quickly and there is concern that he came back too quickly after surgery.”
It is common policy for a loan to be based on information provided by a parent club. For a permanent transfer, a full, two-day medical would be required at Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground.
The goalkeeping situation at Craven Cottage has become even more stark following news that David Stockdale has suspected knee ligament damage that could keep him on the sidelines for two months.
Reading keeper Adam Federici has been considered as an alternative to Given, although it is believed that the Australian is regarded as back-up to Stockdale rather than the senior man.
If Fulham solve their keeping problems in the next 48 hours, it will allow Mark Schwarzer to sign for Arsenal.
The Gunners are ready to increase their bid for the Australian to £2.5 million on Monday, which is likely to be accepted by the west Londoners.
“Schwarzer has been told he can only go if Fulham have a replacement,” added the source. “He is basically waiting on Given’s shoulder.”
When Roy Hodgson was Fulham manager, he enquired about the possibility of a player exchange involving Jack Wilshere or Carlos Vela but that was given short shrift by Arsene Wenger.