By Will Butcher
Celestine Babayaro has urged Newcastle to sign England goalkeeper Joe Hart in the summer transfer window as he looks set to leave Man City.
TalkSPORT presenter Micky Quinn picked three players that he would sign for Newcastle in the summer, choosing Hart alongside Man United’s Michael Carrick and City’s Kelechi Iheanacho.
Speaking to Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast Show on talkSPORT (Tuesday, 6am), Babayaro was asked if he agreed with Quinn in signing 30-year-old star Hart from Pep Guardiola’s City.
The former Toon left-back agreed, while stating Mike Ashley must confirm the future of Rafa Benitez and back him in the transfer window this summer.
“Absolutely I would have Joe Hart. He is one of the best in the world, and if they can get Hart he could be a really good goalkeeper for them,” Babayaro said.
“Benitez is an experienced manager, at some of the best clubs in the world. I think that he is the man for Newcastle; you saw how he handled them in the Championship.
“Mike Ashley should do whatever it takes to keep him.”
England number one Hart is set to be the centre of a huge tug of war in the summer transfer window with many clubs likely to enter the market for his signature.
However, former Nigeria international Babayaro believes Hart would be a top signing, despite the abundance of goalkeepers currently available to Benitez on Tyneside.
The likes of Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot and Matz Sels are all vying for a place between the sticks, while Freddie Woodman and Tim Krul remain on loan from the Magpies.
Hart has conceded a large 54 goals in 34 league and cup appearances this season, keeping only five clean sheets but that is believed to be down to Torino’s defence more than his displays.
Babayaro, 38, made 68 appearances in all competitions during a two-year spell between 2005 and 2007 in a career that saw him play for Chelsea and Anderlecht, too.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Stan Collymore has picked the three players he would like the Toon to sign.