Guardiola admits Hart could leave amid reports he is in talks to join Everton
By Harvey Byrne
Pep Guardiola has admitted that Joe Hart could leave Manchester City in the next two weeks.
The City manager revealed on Friday that “maybe” the England international will be at a new club in September.
This comes after a report in the Mirror claimed that Hart’s representatives have opened talks with Everton about a loan move for the snubbed goalkeeper.
The 29-year-old has been left on the bench behind Willy Caballero in Guardiola’s opening two-games of the season.
However, the former Barcelona boss has revealed he told Hart that he will improve under his guidance.
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“I spoke with Joe the first moment we met in China, I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a keeper,” said Guardiola, as quoted by Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre Blog (2.08pm).
“He’s valuable. Until August 31, everything is open. If Joe is still here, he will fight for his place.
“Maybe he is staying, maybe he is leaving, this is the same for a few other players.
“I don’t want players to stay here if they are not happy. I said to him, if he stays he is going to improve.”
Sevilla have also been strongly linked with Hart but newly-rich Everton have the funds to afford Hart and recently banked £47.5million from the sale of John Stones to City.
The Mirror claimed on Monday that the Toffees are keen to sign Hart and make him their first-choice despite new signing Marteen Stekelenburg impressing in goal during his debut against Tottenham.
However, the BBC reported on their live sportsday blog (10.05am) on Wednesday that Hart does not want to commit to a permanent move with just two weeks left in the transfer window.
The England number one endured a difficult Euro 2016 campaign with some costly mistakes, as the nation were dumped out by minnows Iceland in the last 16.
Hart joined City from Shrewsbury in 2006 and has been a mainstay of the Premier League team during the Abu Dhabi era.
He is a firm favourite with City supporters for his leadership and commitment, and was a key player in the side that won Premier League titles in 2012 and 2014.
In other Everton transfer news, Sunderland have signed former Toffees midfielder Steven Pienaar on a one-year contract.