Hart set to depart after Taylor arrival

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Joe Hart is set to join Birmingham on loan following confirmation Stuart Taylor will be Shay Given's deputy at Manchester City next season.

Blues boss Mark Hughes was keen to let Hart - currently on duty with the England Under-21 squad in Sweden - further his education away from Eastlands, knowing his chances at City would be limited.

And confirmation of Taylor's arrival, following a glowing tribute to Hughes from Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel, leaves Hart free to join up with Alex McLeish at St Andrews.

It should assist Hart's chances of making next summer's World Cup, while at the same time offering Taylor a chance to see if Hughes, and goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock, live up to their impressive billing after Friedel worked with the duo at Blackburn.

"I talked to Brad for some advice and he couldn't speak highly enough," Taylor told "I can't wait to start.

"This is a fantastic club to be joining, a club that is going places."

The 28-year-old is City's third signing of the summer and follows in the footsteps of Gareth Barry, who could be installed as Blues captain if Sunderland pursue their apparent interest in Richard Dunne.

With Hughes still to strengthen his defence, it is unlikely he would allow Dunne to leave just yet.

However, if the quality he has brought in this summer is anything to go by, Hughes may eventually view Dunne as a disposable asset in the quest for honours.

The Welshman has already suggested the lack of European action for City next season could work to their benefit.

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Joe Hart
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Gareth Barry
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Shay Given
Brad Friedel
Richard Dunne
Stuart Taylor
Mark Hughes

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