Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will leave the club in this transfer window as he has fallen behind Willy Caballero as Pep Guardiola’s first choice having been named on the bench for the first two games of the season. The Catalan coach has been quick to assert his authority at his new club, ousting a crowd favourite and key component in City’s two Premier League title triumphs.
Being dropped should feel familiar to Hart as it happened on other occasions under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, but it seems this time should action by the manager has led the England man to believe that his future lies away from the Etihad.
The early front runners for his signature are Everton, although Hart could look to move abroad with Sevilla showing an interest.
Warming the City bench for games against Sunderland and Steaua Bucharest caps a miserable summer for Hart. He was England’s number one at the European Championships and his errors led to goals conceded against Russia, Wales and Iceland in what turned out to be a nightmare tournament for the Three Lions. His main priority should be to move so he can be a figure in Sam Allardyce’s new England setup.
Guardiola will look to sign either Claudio Bravo or Marc-Andre ter Stegen from former club Barcelona as his replacement. The Spaniard likes his keepers to be good with the ball at their feet for distribution, something he clearly sees lacking in Hart’s game.
There will be a temptation from Hart to stay and fight for his place and learn to adapt his game to try and satisfy his new manager but it seems clear that the best outcome for all parties would be a separation, even at this early stage.
Hart has spent a decade at City since arriving from Shrewsbury Town; he was there before the big money arrived and he helped them achieve great things in what has been a golden period for the club, so a farewell will feel like a bitter pill for those closely connected with City, no matter how necessary one might be.