Newcastle United made a last-gasp swoop to try and sign goalkeeper Joe Hart in the closing stages of the January transfer window, according to a report.
The Mirror claims that the West Ham were not willing to allow Hart, 30, to end his loan spell at the London Stadium and switch to Newcastle even though he has slipped down the pecking order under David Moyes.
Hart joined the Hammers on loan from Manchester City in the summer and it is understood that the Premier League giants were happy to sanction the deal if the London club were to accept it.
The report adds that Newcastle even offered West Ham one of their own back-up goalkeepers in exchange for Hart, who has found his career at a cross-roads ever since Pep Guardiola took charge at Man City.
The England international was sent out on loan to Torino last season after a dismal Euro 2016 campaign and falling short of Guardiola’s requirements for being a ‘sweeper keeper’.
He was again allowed to leave in the summer for West Ham, but after a poor start to life in the capital, he is now playing second fiddle to Adrian.
The Guardian reported in December that Hart is earning a whopping £120,000-a-week in his deal at Manchester City.
Football Insider verdict
Newcastle would have done well to sign Hart, but after the win against Manchester United on Sunday, it seems that West Ham’s rejection may have been a blessing in disguise after Martin Dubravka’s stunning display as he kept a clean sheet against all odds. It is too early to judge how well the Slovakia international will do at St James’ Park – remember David De Gea was abysmal in his first few appearances for Man United before becoming arguably the best shot-stopper in world football – but for the time-being, it seems like it was a good move by Rafa Benitez. If Newcastle stay up this season, they will need to try and tie down a goalkeeper on a permanent deal. Hart’s wages may make that deal hard to pull off but Dubravka could be up for grabs.
In other Newcastle United news, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has claimed that one Toon player was an “absolute joy to watch” in their triumph against Man United.