Football: Allardyce to pick Hart in England squad for Slovakia opening World Cup clash

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will be part of the England squad for their opening World Cup clash with Slovakia.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will be part of the England squad for their opening World Cup clash with Slovakia.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will be part of the England squad travelling to take on Slovakia in their first World Cup 2018 football qualifier, manager Sam Allardyce has said.

Hart, who has 63 caps for England, is yet to make an appearance for City this season and, according to British media reports, has been told by new manager Pep Guardiola that he is free to leave if he wants.

The 29-year-old Hart's future at the club was thrown further into doubt after Spanish champions Barcelona said on Saturday they had reached the 'beginning of an agreement' with City over the transfer of their goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

"He will be in the squad definitely. What we will do, I won't know until I speak to Joe and that will be the same for most of the players," Allardyce told British media.

"I want to know what frame of mind they are in and make the right selection for Slovakia away."

Everton, Sevilla and German side Borussia Dortmund have all expressed interest in Hart, according to British media reports.

The opening Group F qualifier for the 2018 World Cup is England's first game under Allardyce, who was appointed after Roy Hodgson quit following the team's defeat by Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016 in June.

Allardyce will name his squad on Sunday for the clash against Slovakia on Sept 4.

The last game between the two sides ended 0-0 during the European Championship's group phase.