Joe Hart: Pep Guardiola wants 'solution' for Manchester City goalkeeper

By Simon StoneBBC Sport in Chicago
Joe Hart
Joe Hart in training during Manchester City's pre-season tour of the United States

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he wants to "find a solution" for Joe Hart so the England goalkeeper does not have to see out the final year of his contract at Etihad Stadium.

Hart is back at City after unsuccessful loan spells at Torino and West Ham.

The 31-year-old is third choice behind Ederson and Claudio Bravo, and there appears little chance of him playing for the Premier League champions.

"Joe is our player. I know it is not easy for him," said Guardiola.

So far the tentative interest in Hart - who has 75 England caps, but was left out of the World Cup squad - has come from overseas clubs.

There is less than three weeks until the English transfer deadline on 9 August - although players can move abroad up to 31 August.

"We will try and find a solution," said Guardiola, who added that he is prepared for Hart to "stay here" if no acceptable offer materialises.

Guardiola 'not disappointed' over Jorginho

The only significant alterations so far to the City squad that won last season's Premier League with a record 100 points and 106 goals have been the departure of veteran midfielder Yaya Toure and the arrival of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester for a club record £60m.

Guardiola thought he had agreed a deal for Italy midfielder Jorginho to join City from Napoli, only for the move to collapse when the Brazil-born player followed former manager Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea instead.

"I am not disappointed," said Guardiola. "English football has signed an exceptional player. We tried but my advice always is that players should go where they want.

"It would have been a mistake if he'd come here when he wanted to go to Maurizio and Chelsea."

Although he has been targeting a replacement for Toure for the past two transfer windows, Guardiola says he is unsure whether he will buy one as he has options in Fabian Delph, Ilkay Gundogan and Danilo.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and midfielder Jorginho
Jorginho shares a laugh with manager Maurizio Sarri after signing for Chelsea

Lack of experience

The consequence of City having a record 16 players at the World Cup is that the squad Guardiola has available for the International Champions Cup in the United States is shorn of experience.

Of the senior outfield players in his squad, only Mahrez, French defender Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane, a surprise omission from the Germany squad that went out at the group stage for the first time, are available for the game against Borussia Dortmund at Chicago's Soldier Field (kick-off 02:05 BST on Saturday).

Guardiola said Sane's World Cup disappointment could "make him stronger".

Promising youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz are amongst the huge number of academy players in Guardiola's squad.

"It is a pleasure to work with them," said the City boss. "It's a long road."

Guardiola has told his absent players not to return until they are mentally ready for the challenge of becoming only the third team, after Manchester United and Chelsea, to successfully defend the Premier League title.

City play Chelsea in the Community Shield on 5 August before opening their league campaign at Arsenal a week later.

Guardiola said: "What happened last season was a consequence of the work we did two seasons ago.

"The players come back, try to do the basics and with the intention to make a good season.

"We will try to be ready to play every game like we did last year."

The new season begins

Hard to explain Sane World Cup absence

City face a Dortmund side that will include Mario Gotze, who scored Germany's winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.

Like Sane, Gotze was left out of the 2018 squad and the 26-year-old said he had accepted the disappointment of missing the tournament in Russia.

However, the Borussia Dortmund forward said he could not explain the absence of City winger Sane, who was not picked despite his outstanding performances in the Premier League.

Gotze said: "Every player wants to be part of the World Cup. I have watched him from a distance and seen good performances. I can't say why certain decisions were made."


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