Thursday 17 August 2017

Where could Joe Hart end up next?

Joe Hart's Manchester City future looks in doubt
Joe Hart's Manchester City future looks in doubt

The imminent arrival of Ederson at Manchester City spells bad news for Joe Hart, whose prospects of regaining his number one shirt at the Etihad Stadium now look even slimmer than ever.

He remains an experienced, high-profile performer and will be eager to line up regular first-team football in a bid to shore up his position with England ahead of next summer's World Cup.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at potential destinations.

MERSEYSIDE Everton were strongly linked with Hart at the start of last season until Ronald Koeman shut down rumours in emphatic fashion, suggesting he had never been interested in the player. But Joel Robles and Maarten Stekelenburg had their troubles over the course of the season and an upgrade could be in order. Everton would be a step down on City but still a decent Premier League platform with the possibility of European football in future years.

Liverpool have also been touted as possible employers but Jurgen Klopp has given no indication he is tempted and has yet to give up on Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.

TORINO

Hart's season-long loan spell in Turin will go down in the history books as 'satisfactory' for both parties, offering the player experience of a new league and culture and the team a high-profile signing at a fraction of the going rate. But the suspicion remains that both saw it as a bridging arrangement from the off, and a permanent arrangement has barely been mentioned.

WEST HAM

Another English club who could be in the market for a new face between the sticks. Darren Randolph and Adrian represent a respectable, though not irreplaceable, pairing and the Hammers are not averse to making big statements in the transfer market. For Hart's part the club would boast an engaging manager in Slaven Bilic, the mixed blessings of the London Stadium and a chance to establish himself as a major dressing room leader.

CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE OR MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER Any big name player eyeing pastures new must at least ponder the notion of a lucrative pay day in either China or the United States. Hart has the requisite stature to demand an eye-watering offer, particularly as he still has several of his peak physical years in front of him. But for the very same reason, it seems an unlikely avenue. If Hart is seeking first-team football to safeguard his England place and make the most of his short time in the game he will not find the satisfaction less sizeable than the pay packet.

LEICESTER

This requires a number of moves on the chess board to even become a possibility. Kasper Schmeichel is locked in as number one at the King Power Stadium but could easily find himself on the shopping list of a bigger fish this summer. Should he move on, the Foxes would surely consider Hart as a replacement. Schmeichel's projected transfer fee would give them the means to finance such a move, while they still carry some lingering cache from their unforgettable title win.

ANOTHER EUROPEAN ADVENTURE Hart enjoyed the wider experience of his time in Turin, and earned plaudits from England boss Southgate for embracing the adventure. If he feels he learned more about the game, and his own abilities, he might be more alive to options in Italy, Spain, Germany or France than most English talent. Exactly which sides would be in the market is unknown, though Torino were hardly top of the betting when City made him available for loan last time. If anyone arrives with the right wage structure, the promise of a starting berth and the opportunity to win silverware or play, another foreign mission could be the best option.

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport