Joe Hart is poised to return to Manchester City for talks about his future in a week which promises to have a major impact on the England goalkeeper’s career.
City manager Pep Guardiola, whose first act when he arrived in the summer of 2016 was to displace the popular and long-serving ‘keeper, has revealed there have been no developments over Hart’s status.
Having spent last season on loan in Italy with Torino, Hart moved to West Ham on a similar temporary arrangement for this campaign but reports have claimed the Hammers do not wish to activate their option to make his signing permanent
Hart will also learn his international fate on Wednesday (May 16), with England manager Gareth Southgate set to name his squad for the World Cup Finals in Russia.
But the 31-year-old, who played over 300 games in a decade with City, will also want to clarify his club career with a year still remaining on his current contract with the Premier League champions.
“No,” said Guardiola when asked if a decision has been made over Hart’s next move.
“He’s going to come back here and, I think his manager (agent) is going to speak with the club and they’re going to decide.”
Reports from Scotland have suggested Celtic are interested in signing Hart although, with the player only having one season left under contract and with his stock having fallen this season, City’s hopes of demanding a sizeable fee look slim.
One City player certain to be named in Southgate’s squad is right-back Kyle Walker, one of the stand-out performers in Guardiola’s title-winning squad.
The 27-year-old has been vindicated in his decision to leave Tottenham last summer, having won the first major silverware of his career with City, although the demanding Guardiola says Walker still has room for considerable improvement next season.
“We are, all of us, so satisfied with his level,” said Guardiola.
“We spoke with him many times.
“It’s similar to when we speak with Raz (Raheem Sterling) and Leroy (Sane). He still has a big gap to improve – his style, his way to play, his focus in the game.
“Hopefully we can help him have a target for the next season and try to help him to be a better player next season.”