x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Hart: loan me but don't bench me

The Manchester City goalkeeper, has admitted he would consider going out on loan again if he does not get regular first-team football.

Joe Hart makes a diving save in Premier League action last season.
Joe Hart makes a diving save in Premier League action last season.

Joe Hart, the Manchester City goalkeeper, has admitted he would consider going out on loan again if he does not get regular first-team football. Hart, who was one of England's three keepers at the World Cup, spent last year at Birmingham City with Shay Given holding the No 1 spot at Eastlands, but he has returned to City for the new season.

He is ready to fight Given for the first-choice jersey, but concedes the prospect of sitting on the bench would be difficult. "It doesn't really interest me if I'm honest, I've played a lot of football now and that's all I want to do," he told Five Live's Sportsweek radio programme. "At the moment all I'm doing is playing football in the first team." Asked whether he would consider another loan move, Hart said: "It wouldn't be up to me, Manchester City are in charge of me at the moment but if I wasn't playing, I suppose I would have to reconsider."

Fabio Aurelio, the Brazilian defender, called his latest contract at Liverpool a new beginning after he re-signed for the Premier League club on a two-year deal. "It feels like I'm signing for the first time - everything has changed so it's like a new beginning for me with new confidence and a new boss," he said. The 30-year-old left Anfield when his contract expired in May but was offered a chance to prove he was worth retaining by Roy Hodgson, the new manager, and has agreed to a deal until 2012.

Meanwhile, Joe Cole's debut for Liverpool ended in defeat as they went down 1-0 to Borussia Monchengladbach. Hodgson fielded a strong side including Steven Gerrard, England's World Cup captain, as well as Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson, while Aurelio was on the substitutes' bench. Monchengladbach had arranged the match as part of their 110th anniversary celebrations at Borussia Park. In France, Mamadou Niang, the Marseille striker, appears closer to remaining with the French champions, although he is still not 100 per cent decided.

Niang has been disappointed at the lack of offers following his announcement he wanted to leave Marseille for a different challenge after five years at the club. The Senegal striker, who turns 31 in October, knows this is probably his last chance for a big-money move. Reports in Turkey suggest Fenerbahce are closing in on Niang but, a week before the start of the season, the forward admits he could well remain at the Stade Velodrome. "I am in a great club here at OM," Niang told L'Equipe. "I have a good lifestyle. If I have to stay here, it's really not a problem at all.

"I would only leave Marseille for something exciting. "But I have to take into account the financial aspect. I'm not 20 anymore. "In my head I am Marseillais but anything can happen." Niang, who is under contract until 2014, was the league's top goalscorer last season with 18 goals as he fired Marseille to their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years. Qatar Stars League side Al Rayyan have signed Yong-hyung Cho, the South Korea international, from Jeju United.

The 26-year-old agreed to a two-year contract and becomes the second Korean playing in Qatar after compatriot Lee Jung-soo joined Al Sadd. Cho also started all four matches for South Korea in the World Cup. "Cho will be a good addition for the team as he has good qualities," Ali Salem, the Al Rayyan team manager, told the club's website. "We chose him after he produced good performances with his national team in the World Cup."

* Agencies