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Pellegrini: No chance of Hart leaving


Man City keeper Joe Hart. Picture credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Man City keeper Joe Hart. Picture credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Man City keeper Joe Hart. Picture credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

MANCHESTER CITY manager Manuel Pellegrini is adamant England goalkeeper Joe Hart will not be leaving the club in January.

It has been claimed that Hart, who was dropped by Pellegrini earlier this month, could be loaned out in the mid-season transfer window.

Pellegrini also insists he is not looking to sign another keeper, therefore dismissing fresh reports linking the club with Stoke's Asmir Begovic.

Hart, after sitting out City's last five games, is poised to return for the Champions League clash against Viktoria Plzen at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

Pellegrini said: "There is a lot of news about six or seven goalkeepers that we want to buy but it is not true.

"Of course he stays. There is no chance that Joe Hart could go out of this squad in January."

Hart's situation continues to command much attention because he remains crucial to England's World Cup plans.

He has not played for City since a late error – one of a number of mistakes for club and country over the past year – proved costly in City's loss to Chelsea on October 27.

An encouraging display in England's friendly against Germany last week raised the prospect of a return but he remained on the bench for Sunday's 6-0 thrashing of Tottenham.

With qualification from Champions League Group D already assured, Pellegrini has promised Hart will get another chance against Plzen.

Costel Pantilimon has done little wrong since taking Hart's place and could be back in goal for Sunday's league encounter with Swansea.

Pellegrini said: "I think that is a question for next Saturday.

"The important thing for Joe is that he will play tomorrow and we hope he will have a very good performance."

There is little riding on City's match against Plzen, with City having already guaranteed a place in the last 16. But if results go their way, they could still supplant reigning champions Bayern at the top of the group.

The Chilean said: "I think it is very important to win the group."

Captain Vincent Kompany trained with the squad but is not yet ready to return to action after a thigh injury.