Joe Hart: Man City keeper says he is ‘surplus to requirements’

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England goalkeeper Joe Hart says he is “surplus to requirements” at Manchester City and does not see himself playing for the Premier League club again.

Hart joined Italian side Torino on a season-long loan in August after being told he was free to leave City by manager Pep Guardiola.

The 29-year-old added that he saw the Spaniard’s decision to drop him coming.

“If you’re not going to win there is no point in fighting, especially someone as powerful as that,” Hart said.

However, Hart believes the decision was “nothing personal” and said he respects Guardiola’s honesty.

“He didn’t do it to ruin my life, he did it because he thought that was what was right for him to win as a manager,” he told the BBC’s Premier League Show.

Hart’s 33-year-old replacement, Claudio Bravo has been criticised for his performances since his £15.4m arrival from Barcelona in August, with Willy Caballero, 35, preferred in the Premier League and Champions League since 21 January.

Guardiola has said he will not make a decision on Hart’s future until the end of the season – but it is expected the keeper will leave the club for good in the summer.

Hart, who has 68 England caps, has been linked with various Premier League and European clubs but said he has had “no communication with anyone” about a transfer after his loan spell at Torino ends in May.

When asked about a return to the Premier League, Hart replied: “I know it really well but I wouldn’t say it was top of my wish list.

“Top of my wish list is to play for a club that wants me to be their goalkeeper.”

Hart on Man City, England and the future

Match of the Day commentator Steve Bower: How difficult was it to discover Pep Guardiola didn’t want to make you number one and you would have to go somewhere else?

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Joe Hart: I want to say it was really bad but it wasn’t because I saw it coming.

SB: From the moment Guardiola walked through the door?

JH: No but you just pick up vibes and it certainly wasn’t a surprise to me. It was something that I wanted to change and felt I was more than capable of changing – but to get results he needed to have a team he felt comfortable with and a team he wanted.

I didn’t fall into that category and that’s no problem. I’d have loved to have stayed and fought and shown what I can do, but I don’t have that time. You don’t have that time to do it – especially as a goalkeeper. You can’t come off the bench for 10 minutes and prove your worth – it’s either you’re in or you’re out.

I’m up for a fight – I’ll fight my corner all day – but if you’re not going to win then there is no point in fighting, especially someone as powerful as that at Manchester City.

I know it’s nothing personal on me, he’s not that kind of guy.

SB: Do you respect his honesty?

JH: Yes of course. He did what he had to do, he did what he felt was right. He didn’t do it to ruin my life, he did it because he thought that was what was right for him to win as a manager. So I had to look elsewhere and here I am.

SB: What did you say when your agent said Torino were interested?

JH: I said, ‘look into it’. I didn’t have many options – things happened very late with Manchester City. For a goalkeeper that’s difficult, everyone is pretty settled with goalkeepers, it’s an early bit of business and there is only one spot.

My name wasn’t necessarily out in the transfer market because people probably presumed that I would be at Manchester City – like I did. But I wasn’t going to play at Manchester City, that was pretty obvious – I was third, if not fourth choice at the time so I wanted to play football and Torino gave me the opportunity and I just thought, ‘I’m going to go for it.’

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SB: There will be Manchester City fans thinking, ‘Will you ever play for our team again?’

JH: I’d say I’m pretty much surplus to requirements at my parent club at the moment.

SB: Do you see that changing?

JH: Not really. I’ve got to be realistic. I love that club and I’ve always said that as long as they wanted me, I would be there.

But I was always cautious when I said that because I’m aware that at the big, big clubs stuff can change quickly, as can opinions and people in charge. Not everyone is going to like you, not everyone is going to want to play you and that’s the business side of it, which I’ve grown into and I’m certainly not going to take personally.

I want to play football, I love to play football so if that opportunity is not going to be given there then I’m going to have to look elsewhere and may have to make somewhere else my home.

SB: Where you at in terms of a transfer at the moment?

JH: It’s frustrating to see my name thrown around so much when I’m just trying to get on with what I’m doing for now and then whatever needs to be taken care of will hopefully be taken care of one way or another.

I’ve still got a parent club that I need to respect and I need to work with. I understand that’s the football business now – everyone has got an opinion, a small comment can be used in an article. I don’t know where my future lies – I’ve certainly had no communication with anyone.

The best thing I can do is work hard, be ready to train every day, do my best for Torino, do my best when I represent my country and then hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

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SB: How important is it for you to be playing regular football next season to keep your position as England goalkeeper?

JH: [England boss] Gareth Southgate is not the kind of guy to say: ‘You need to be doing this or that or you’re out.’ He’s such a positive, interesting person. He came to see me out here, which was good of him, just for an afternoon, just to check in and he wants what’s best for the country. The only way I can be a part of that is if I’m playing well, playing regularly and improving.

We’ve got some really good, strong English keepers at the moment. I’d like to think we’re pushing each other and if my levels drop then I’m gone and I understand that. I don’t need any threats, I know how the game works as I’ve been a part of it for a while now.

SB: As a goalkeeper do you have to wait for someone to leave a club for a place to go?

JH: Yes, unfortunately. Especially the top teams because every top team has got at least one top keeper. You need people to move, managers to change. You need something to happen for something to happen. You can’t just charge in somewhere.

SB: Would returning to the Premier League be top of your wish list?

JH: I’m open. I love the Premier League, I absolutely love Premier League games. Removing myself a footballer, I watch the Premier League. It’s a great league, fantastic football is played in it.

I know it really well but I wouldn’t say it was top of my wish list. Top of my wish list is to play for a club that wants me to be their goalkeeper.

Source – BBC

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