Joe Hart will be watching the World Cup from his sofa this summer.
Despite sporting England's number one jersey at the last three major tournaments, a downturn in form since Pep Guardiola's arrival at Manchester City has seen him fall from favour. Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope have all booked themselves a place in Russia over Hart.
It would have seemed incomprehensible two years ago, but Hart endured such a terrible season with West Ham that the only England fans calling for his inclusion simply cited dressing room experience.
Having returned from a mediocre spell with Torino, the 31-year-old dropped a series of errors in a second loan spell with the Hammers.
A nightmarish performance against Burnley in March is believed by many to have been the tip of the iceberg and even saw Hart lose his place to Adrian.
Hart's career on the ropes
As a result, Hart has returned to City without a hope of ever appearing for the Citizens again and West Ham are believed to have no interest at all in signing him on a permanent basis.
Frankly, the situation leaves Hart in limbo and he hasn't been spoilt for choices going forward.
Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers are seen as two outside bets for the goalkeeper and an MLS move has even been tipped, but nothing concrete has emerged so far.
Nice offer Hart an escape route
The day before the World Cup, however, and Hart looked to have been given a rather unexpected escape route from City.
According to the Daily Mail, Nice are 'set to offer' Hart a permanent exit from the Etihad Stadium.
The Citizens are willing to accept a cut-price deal for the Englishman and it seems a surprise move to Ligue 1 could be on the cards.
Nice hold a 'tentative' interest in the transfer.
Former Manchester City teammate Patrick Vieira has recently taken charge of the club and could secure a reunion in coming weeks. There's also a chance Mario Balotelli, another ex-City man, could stay at Nice next season.
Simon Pouplin looks set to leave Nice at the end of his contract this summer and there's questions over the future of Yoan Cardinale, so Hart could arrive as an immediate number one.
If nothing else, the move would take Hart out of the spotlight of English football and give him the opportunity to rebuild his career.
That being said, it might not be the only offer on the table for the 31-year-old with other clubs in France, Italy and Spain monitoring his situation.
Something needs to change for Hart and his future could lie abroad.
Time is ticking for him to turn around his career again and his next move could well be last chance saloon.
Where do you think Hart should move to this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.
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