Manchester City fans still can’t get their head around the idea that Joe Hart is set to leave the club on loan.
The 29-year-old is set to join Serie A outfit Torino in a temporary deal until the end of the season, with images surfacing of the goalkeeper in Turin with a Torino scarf draped around his neck.
From starting to City in a Champions League semi-final to joining Italy’s 12th best team last season, all in the space of nearly fourth months. It’s a quite remarkable story.
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Hart has, of course, been ostracised by Pep Guardiola’s desire to have his goalkeepers play like midfielders. Clearly not wishing to strengthen a rival, the City boss has decided Torino is the best landing spot for the England number one.
According to BBC Sport, Hart will be announced as a Torino player on Wednesday. He will then rejoin the England squad ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifying clash against Slovakia on Sunday.
Szczesny's touching message to Hart
One goalkeeper Hart can seek advice from in Italy is Wojciech Szczesny. The Arsenal goalkeeper joined Roma on a season-long loan ahead of the 2015-16 season and, with Petr Cech firmly established as Arsenal’s number one, returned to the Italian club earlier this month for another loan spell.
The move hasn’t been confirmed yet but Szczesny wasn’t willing to wait for an official announcement, posting a picture of the pair with the caption: “Good luck at Torino lad. Looking forward to playing against you again! @joehartofficial #hart #szczesny.”
The Poland goalkeeper won’t have to wait too long to take on Hart. The clubs meet at Torino’s stadium on September 25.
Buffon: Hart will bounce back
Though Hart currently finds himself in an unfavourable position, ousted by the club he has played 10 years for and his grip on the England starting spot no doubt hurt, Gianluigi Buffon reckons he will bounce back from this setback.
“Hart] has been in this position before, he was dropped two or three seasons back, and then when he returned he played some of the best football of his career," the Juventus legend told Goal.
“The ability is there, we know he has that, but just as importantly he has character - and that is one of the most important qualities you can have as a goalkeeper."