August 22 – The career of England goalkeeper Joe Hart is on the verge of a decisive turn after he was dropped by Manchester City’s new manager Pep Guardiola.
Hart was left out of City’s Premier league win at Stoke at the weekend amid reports that Guardiola, who has overseen a string of new signings, is keen to bring in Claudio Bravo from Barcelona for around £15 million.
The Spanish champions’ technical director Robert Fernández claimed via their official Twitter account that they “have the beginning of an agreement with Manchester City for Claudio Bravo.”
Hart is regarded as very much England’s number one keeper and has been at City for a decade making 347 appearances and winning two titles in the process. But a number of poor displays at Euro 2016 appear to have cost him his place at City with Guardiola making it clear that Hart, who has been an unused substitute behind Argentine keeper Willy Caballero, is free to leave.
Speaking on Friday, Guardiola was quoted as saying he preferred a goalkeeper who is “able to play with the ball.”
“I spoke with Joe from the first moment we met. I try to be clear with my players and I was clear with him. The first thing I am looking for from the goalkeeper is to save. After that he has to be able to help us to create a good build-up. That is why I am here.”
If and when Hart is sold before the end of the summer transfer window, it will up to new England boss Sam Allardyce to decide whether to select him for the for the World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on September 4.
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