Guardiola foreshadows Manchester City squad trimming, does not guarantee Hart’s future
New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola knows he has some tough decisions to make with Manchester City’s squad bulging at the seams.
Following an insane $216 million spending spree this summer, where the Citizens added the likes of John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, and Nolito, others must be sacrificed.
While Guardiola praised the talent of goalkeeper Joe Hart, the long-term future of England’s current #1 was not assured.
“I’m so happy about his qualities, his behavior, what he means to this club,” Guardiola said Friday during his pre-match press conference prior to City’s Premier League opener. “After, we are going to decide inside the doors [of the club]. Now, he is a player of us.”
Guardiola admitted there will be some players who don’t make the team. “We have to reduce our squad,” the Spaniard confirmed.
Fortunately for Hart, at the moment, the club’s options behind him are quite thin, meaning he is very likely to survive any initial purge. The only other goalkeeper on the senior squad is 34-year-old Willy Caballero, who has seen the field just six times in Premier League play since coming to Manchester City two summers ago, although he was the first-choice selection last year as City progressed through and eventually won the League Cup.
Rumors have linked Manchester City with Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The young German came to the Catalan side two years ago but has been limited mostly to Cup duty, stuck behind Claudio Bravo.
Hart has been the undisputed starter between the sticks for Manchester City since 2009, but had an uninspiring Premier League season last campaign, and was disappointing for England this summer in Euro 2016. According to multiple reports, Guardiola prefers the ball-playing skills of ter Stegen to Hart’s more traditional keeping style.