Football: Hart's return not on radar for Guardiola

Joe Hart is on a season-long loan to Serie A side Torino and a decision will be made on his future in the summer.
Joe Hart is on a season-long loan to Serie A side Torino and a decision will be made on his future in the summer.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Manager is happy with City's options in goal, indicating that Joe Hart's future is up in the air

LONDON • Pep Guardiola has hinted that Joe Hart's Manchester City career may be over after stating he is "so happy" with Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero as City's goalkeepers.

The City manager dropped Hart as the No. 1 in pre-season and allowed him be loaned to Torino until the end of the season.

Guardiola bought Bravo from Barcelona to be Hart's replacement but Caballero has superseded him after the Chilean recently lost his place.

Hart is due to return to City in the summer although Guardiola, when asked if the England goalkeeper might have a long-term future at the club, said: "I'm so happy with Willy and Claudio. We are going to talk about it (Hart's future) at the end of the season."

Caballero has started every match since late January apart from the goal-less draw at Huddersfield in the FA Cup fifth round. In the lead-up to the replay yesterday Guardiola was asked if he might recruit a new goalkeeper in the next transfer window.

"I will decide about that at the end of the season. I trust a lot in both and we'll decide - not just the goalkeepers, the midfielders, wingers, strikers, full-backs - we are going to decide at the end of the season," said the Spaniard.

Caballero, who was signed by Manuel Pellegrini in 2011 from Malaga, will be out of contract in June, along with team-mates Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna.

"They (players out of contract) have to try to keep going, to convince me every day. There are five, six players out of contract but they know the situation," Guardiola said.

"Of course there is a risk, maybe they can sign a contract for another club and we have to accept that. But we are going to decide in the last months of the season."

City returned from a four-day trip to Abu Dhabi on Saturday. There Guardiola met Sheikh Mansour, the owner, for the first time.

The 46-year-old signed a three-year deal when taking over last summer but the proprietor wants him to stay longer.

"He knows and I know that it all depends on the results," Guardiola said.

"He would like that I stay here for a long, long, long, long time. But of course it depends on the results. If not, they would say what happened, what can we do. What we need to improve, to improve. That's the process - to finish the process they are going to help us.

"We are here because of the results. If the results are not good we are replaced. We are together, both departments, the chairman and managers, we have the same target, so the people can be proud of us."

Guardiola added that he has not been given any specific material goals.

"We didn't speak about that," he said.

"They will be happy if we win. I know we have to win but I've handled that in the past and I will in the present.

"We spoke about private lives, families, the club. What's my impression after six months, half a year here. They are able to help us, not just me but the people at the club, the staff. They were so kind."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'Hart's return not on radar for Guardiola'. Print Edition | Subscribe