Manchester City will allow Joe Hart to join a Top 6 club at the end of the season, provided they receive a fee of no less than £20 million according to reports
According to the Times, Pep Guardiola has made the decision and is willing to let Joe Hart leave the club even if it is to one of England’s fellow “Top 6” clubs, provided Manchester City receive the fee they ask for, which they claim to be £20 million.
They claim that the decision has been made as only a few clubs will be able to afford the price that they are seeking for the English goalkeeper, especially considering his wages of around £100,000 a week.
Despite reports that City were refusing to sell Hart to a Premier League rival, The Times claim that City have never had a stipulation such as this in place and that they are willing to do business with other top English clubs.
Hart joined City back in 2006 for a fee that then-Manchester City chairman John Wardle claimed was a paltry £100,000 pounds. He then spent the next season out on loan with Tranmere Rovers and Blackpool and was a huge success at both clubs.
Hart returned to be named as Manchester City’s first-choice goalkeeper but was then loaned out once more to Birmingham City in 2009 amid reports that he would be sold by the club. He returned in 2010 and reclaimed the first spot, going on to win two Premier League titles and one FA Cup with the Sky Blues.
Things changed almost immediately when Pep Guardiola took over this summer, however, and Hart was quickly dropped after a few poor showings with summer signing Claudio Bravo taking his place in the side.
City have since struggled to solve their goalkeeping issues and many have criticised Guardiola’s decision to send Hart out on loan to Torino this season but it appears that the club do not have a place for him in their side despite this.
Liverpool were heavily linked with a move for the English international as they are having goalkeeping issues of their own. Simon Mignolet’s inconsistency continues to be a problem and summer signing Loris Karius has made several high-profile errors this season.
Petr Cech has also had an underwhelming season in Arsenal’s goal and the Gunners have been linked with a move for Hart as a result. With Cech looking past his prime and David Ospina’s future at the Emirates uncertain, Arsenal are in need of a goalkeeper who can slot into the side immediately should Wenger decide to drop Cech.
Both clubs will be hesitant to shell out the £20 million asking price and Hart’s wages will be on the higher side of their wage bills. The fact that Hart will be 30 in two months time could also be a factor that will cause either club to take pause when evaluating the price that City are asking for.
Despite this, Hart has been in fine form for Torino this season and has been lauded in the Italian and English press for his performances. Should he manage to maintain that level, either club could well decide that he is worth the price.