Joe Hart leaves England squad to complete loan deal to Serie A side Torino
Published 29/08/2016 | 21:50
Joe Hart is poised to sign for Torino after Manchester City agreed a deal for the England international to join the Serie A club on loan for the season.
Hart will fly out to Italy tomorrow for a medical, after being granted special dispensation by new England manager Sam Allardyce, and will complete his switch from City in the next 24 hours.
City’s hierarchy have stepped in to grant Hart his move, declining to demand a loan fee and also agreeing for Torino to pay just £50,000 a week of his £140,000-a-week wages.
Hart, 29, was also a target for Sunderland but it is understood he had no interest in joining a club likely to be battling relegation and believes a fresh start in Turin is the best option for his career.
Pep Guardiola, the City manager, has excluded Hart from his first team and signed Claudio Bravo from Barcelona last week in a move that finally convinced him to move on.
Willy Caballero has started all of City’s Premier League games so far this season and Hart’s future appears bleak under Guardiola, with Torino on the verge of signing him for the remainder of the campaign.
Hart had been warned by Allardyce that it was “critical” he played regularly to keep his place as No 1 with England and he believes a move away from the spotlight of the Premier League, where he would be scrutinised, is attractive.
Torino’s director of sport, Gianluca Petrachi, confirmed yesterday that they were working on a deal for Hart. He said: “We’re working on it, but if it isn’t going to be Hart then we will keep on working for somebody else, even if there are only a few days to go until the market closes.”
Torino are not in the Champions League but Hart has pushed for the loan move and his final game for City was the victory over Steaua Bucharest last Wednesday, which secured the club’s participation in the group stages of this season’s Champions League.
Hart, who has won two league titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup, could make his Torino debut against Atalanta on Sept 11. Torino are seventh in Serie A with three points after the opening two games of the campaign and finished 12th last season.
Allardyce revealed he would allow his England players to leave the training base at St George’s Park to complete domestic transfers.
It can be a distraction and I will address the players about it today when they arrive so we can know as quickly as possible and can deal with it as quickly as possible,” he said.
“If there is anything in the pipeline, then hopefully Joe will tell us ‘this may happen’ and we can get ready for it.
“How we deal with it I don’t know yet. I am sat here with my squad for the first time and hopefully there won’t be any issues on that between now and when the window shuts.
“I would allow them to leave. I’m exceptionally pleased that I am not dealing with the last few days of the transfer window in the Premier League.”