COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Ronald Koeman could be set to pull off the signing of the summer if he can push through the signing of Joe Hart.
The Dutchman has already recruited Yannick Bolasie, Ashley Williams, Idrissa Gueye and Maarten Stekelenburg this summer, all of whom have bags of ability and, crucially, Premier League experience.
If England number one Joe Hart is the latest addition to Goodison Park, it would send out a huge statement to the rest of the Premier League.
Sky Sports reported on Tuesday evening that Hart is set leave Manchester City before the transfer window shuts after being dropped for the club’s opening two matches of the season and claimed that Everton are one potential option.
It is said that Everton and Spanish side Sevilla are leading the race to sign the 29-year-old goalkeeper.
BBC Sport correspondent David Ornstein reported on BBC’s Sports feature (10.05am) on Wednesday that Hart does not want to commit to a permanent move with just two weeks left in the transfer window but a loan is a strong possiblity.
Pep Guardiola has preferred veteran Willy Caballero in goal for his new look City side and Hart could now be given the opportunity to restart his career at Everton.
Even if Everton were to secure a season-long loan deal for Hart they would be acquiring one of the most experienced Premier League goalkeepers in the modern game.
Hart, 29, already has two Premier League winners medals to his name after playing an integral part in City’s rise during the Abu Dhabi era.
He is a firm favourite with City supporters for his leadership and commitment, after joining from Shrewsbury in 2006.
The goalkeeper has made 347 appearances for City since his move to Manchester and many fans are upset about the way he has been treated by Guardiola.
Koeman would certainly look to exploit Hart’s ability in the same way he used England’s Fraser Forster for larger parts of last season.
Koeman guided Southampton to an unlikely sixth-placed finish last season and his team was built on a solid defence, he could now be looking for Hart to provide a solid base for his new side.
Hart has struggled with his recent performances, including a disappointing tournament at Euro 2016 with England, but there is certainly no questioning the Premier League pedigree he would bring to Everton.
With the goalkeeper currently playing through the peak of his career it would be an incredible coup for Everton if they sign Hart.
In other Everton transfer news, Koeman has identified the club’s player who is entering a critical phase of his career.