Pep Guardiola determined to sell goalkeeper this summer, rather than loaning him out for a second successive season.
Manchester City tell Joe Hart he can leave, but not on loan again
Manchester City are determined to sell Joe Hart this summer, rather than loaning the goalkeeper out for a second successive season.
Promoted Newcastle United are eager to borrow the 30-year-old custodian for the forthcoming campaign, while West Ham United have also been linked with a loan move for Hart.
But City are only willing to countenance a permanent deal for Hart, who spent last year on loan in Serie A with Torino.
City had hoped to secure a fee of around £30 million (Dh142m) for Hart, whose contract at the Etihad Stadium expires in 2019 but, should they fail to offload him this summer, his resale value would reduce dramatically in 2018 when he enters the last 12 months of his deal.
The England international has been surplus to requirements since the arrival of manager Pep Guardiola, who prefers goalkeepers with superior distribution skills.
While Guardiola’s first keeping signing, Claudio Bravo, endured a traumatic debut season in England, the Catalan has moved to bring in Ederson from Benfica for £35m, a British record fee for a goalkeeper.
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Bravo’s future is uncertain, with Geronimo Rulli’s father claiming last week that the City had tried to buy the Argentine back from Real Sociedad to act as Ederson’s deputy.
City released Willy Caballero, who replaced Bravo in the side for much of the second half of the season, while youngster Angus Gunn has joined Championship side Norwich City on a season-long loan.
But Hart is not expected to stay as a back-up goalkeeper, with the former Birmingham City player voicing his preference for a permanent deal rather than another short-term switch.
He said last month, while on international duty: “We all need stability in our life. I’m not a kid any more. I can’t just pack my stuff, like a 17 or 19 year old, and go on loan. I am a 30-year-old man with stuff I need to organise. I like stability.”
Hart made 37 appearances for Torino last season, but the Italian club admitted they cannot afford to buy him while their president, Urbano Cairo, produced a mixed appraisal of his performances.
“Hart made a few mistakes, especially when coming out for the ball,” he said in May. “He is an important goalkeeper. We probably didn’t expect so many mistakes from an England international … but he did some good things, too.”
With Everton choosing to sign Jordan Pickford, there is no obvious vacancy for a goalkeeper at any of last season’s top seven clubs, while others may lack the resources to afford both the transfer fee and Hart’s wages.
But Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has made a new goalkeeper a priority, with his former Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina another reported target.
Hart is one of several players City are hoping to sell this summer, along with Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala, who were all loaned out last season.
Guardiola is expected to step up his summer bid to strengthen his squad this week, when the arrival of his former Barcelona right-back Dani Alves could be sealed.
The Brazilian is available on a free transfer after his contract with Juventus was cancelled.
City are also looking for at least one left-back and a central defender, while they would like to bring in forward Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, though they face competition from Bayern Munich for the Chilean’s signature.