Wednesday 21 February 2018

Joe Hart relishing Torino chance after cheeky joke at Pep Guardiola's expense

Joe Hart
Joe Hart

Samuel Stevens

Joe Hart says he just wanted to get his move to Torino sealed as quickly as possible after Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made it clear to him that he had no future at the Etihad.

The 29-year-old left for Italy on a season-long loan after Guardiola opted to replace him with Claudio Bravo in goal – having played Willy Caballero there in the early weeks of the new season – and he aimed a cheeky dig at the City manager this week.

The England goalkeeper said: “The best quality in a goalkeeper, in my opinion, is to be able to help his team keep the ball out of the net.”

After the giggles in the Torino press room had subsided, Hart opened up on the discussions which were held surrounding his future in the North West and revealed he just wanted to secure first-team football.

“The situation was obvious to everyone and he was open with me,” said Hart. “There was a situation where it looked like my chances of playing time were limited, so I had to look elsewhere.

“It is a difficult one but you have to be man enough to take it when not everyone is going to love you and maybe that was the situation. I had to look elsewhere. Football is based on opinions. This opinion (Guardiola’s) has resulted in me looking for a new club.”

Hart is one of a slender list of English player to play their football abroad this season and the former Shrewsbury trainee says he is excited by the challenge of competing in Serie A.

He added: “I always look forward to playing on a weekend, so playing in itself was most important. But I have in mind that I love playing for my country and that was important.

“I wanted an experience outside England because not many English players get the chance and this worked for me. It was a chance to learn something new in a league I grew up watching on Channel 4 with a great goalkeeping tradition.”

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