There was a time when Joe Hart was regarded as one of world football’s best goalkeepers, coveted by clubs around the world. Well, as we edge closer towards the start of new Premier League season, the under-fire England number one is still unsure as to where he will be playing his football. Having completed a season-long loan spell in Italy with Torino, Hart appears unlikely to remain in Serie A after a mixed time with Il Toro, not to mention his huge wage packet. With only a few clubs in the Premier League capable of matching the contract Hart is on at Manchester City, the goalkeeper’s options are somewhat limited.
Despite being a firm fan favourite at the Etihad, Hart found himself surplus to requirements at City following the arrival of Pep Guardiola, who signed Claudio Bravo from Barcelona shortly after taking charge. Now back from his year-long loan move, Hart’s time at the club appear to be over after the arrival of Brazilian stopper Ederson from Benfica for £35 million. While the 30-year old has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs since the end of last season, Hart is still without a clear option and time is running out for England’s current first-choice keeper.
There was talk that Liverpool were interested in signing Hart after another season in which Jurgen Klopp appeared unsure about both Simon Mignolet or Loris Karius, although that link seems to have gone cold recently. Torino might not be among the Serie A favourites with the latest football betting odds, standing as a rank 500/1 outsider, but the Italian side have expressed an interest in taking Hart on another loan deal next season, if the option presented itself. But perhaps the most realistic and tempting move for the England stopper would be a move to West Ham, who are expected to sign a new goalkeeper this summer.
Another Premier League club that could be looking at Hart is Everton. With Joel Robles and Maartin Stekelenburg both failing to really establish themselves as number one under Ronald Koeman, the Dutchman is believed to be monitoring Hart’s situation. Aside from that, though, there aren’t many top clubs expected to be looking to sign a goalkeeper this summer, and those other teams that would want to sign Hart would struggle to come anywhere close to matching the 30-year old’s pay requirements. And that’s before even considering the transfer fee Manchester City would require to sell Hart.
With the likes of Fraser Forster, Tom Heaton and Jordan Pickford all pushing Hart for the England goalkeeping position, the current incumbent will be under no illusions that another season in Italy and away from the Premier League might not help his case to stay as the national team’s first choice. In the recent 2-2 draw with Scotland, Hart came in for criticism for both Leigh Griffiths’ free kicks that beat him, as well as his overall performance. With a number of important games coming up for England, Gareth Southgate might be tempted to change his goalkeeper, and Hart could be running out of time to prove he is the right man for the job.