He may not be feeling the love from one Spanish manager but another wants to give him a hug. Joe Hart, soon to be a former Manchester City goalkeeper, is attracting admiring glances from Newcastle United, reports the Daily Mail.
The Geordies won’t have it all their own way with City boss, Pep Guardiola, sanctioning a move to neighbours, Manchester United, so desperate is he to get Hart off the books.
Newcastle boss, Rafa Benitez, has a blind spot for goalkeepers. Mats Selz, signed last summer, has already departed, leaving just Robbie Elliot and Karl Darlow challenging for the #1 jersey.
While the latter performed well in last year’s title-winning side, there’s no doubt that Hart is an upgrade on both current goalkeepers. Elliot has returned from a long spell on the sidelines but the 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international, has made just 49 appearances in front of the Toon Army since joining in 2011.
Hart’s woes are well-documented. Playing in front of 52,000 fiercely loyal fans every home game will appeal to England’s number one. Mike Ashley has backed his managers in the transfer market and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same this time around.
Last summer, the Newcastle board and manager were astute in offloading players and bringing in fresh blood to get them out of the Championship. It worked and now Benitez must work his magic to keep them in the Premier League.