Guardiola's change of Hart, wants Schmeichel for City

LONDON • Manchester City are interested in signing Kasper Schmeichel - and are prepared to offer Joe Hart to Leicester City as part of any deal for the Denmark international.

They face competition for Schmeichel from Everton, who are also in the market for a new goalkeeper.

Everton are looking at a number of current Premier League goalkeepers as manager Ronald Koeman seeks to reinforce a defence that has conceded more than a goal a game this season.

Both Hart and Southampton's Fraser Forster are also on Koeman's wish list, and there is an interest in Jordan Pickford, of relegated Sunderland.

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An unusually active market for goalkeepers among England's leading clubs could become more crowded should Real Madrid finally succeed in extracting David de Gea from Manchester United.

United manager Jose Mourinho does not want to lose de Gea from a squad that already requires significant surgery this summer, but has identified Hart as a preferred successor if the Spaniard leaves.

Goalkeepers have proved a problem for Pep Guardiola throughout a silverware-free first campaign as City manager.

Hart was forced out on a season's loan to Torino because Guardiola was dissatisfied with the quality of his distribution.

In the final week of the summer window, City conceded defeat in an attempt to sign Marc-Andre ter Stegen from Barcelona, taking Claudio Bravo instead.

Instructed to take risks with the ball at his feet, the Chile international struggled to adapt to the English game. In January, Bravo was dropped.

While Guardiola has recognised that he needs a goalkeeper capable of handling long balls into the area and strong in physical contact, he wants a replacement for Bravo who can retain possession and build play with the ball at his feet. Schmeichel ticks both boxes.

City are also interested in the Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson, who has a €60 million (S$93.2 million) release clause in the contract he signed with Portuguese side Benfica in January, should a club wish to sign him before the term of that deal expires in 2023.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2017, with the headline 'Guardiola's change of Hart, wants Schmeichel for City'. Print Edition | Subscribe