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Five potential replacements for Hart at Man City as Guardiola drops England’s number one

| 21.08.2016

Robbie Purves | August 15, 2016

Joe Hart’s summer has gone from bad to worse, losing his place in the Manchester City team for the third time in as many managers after being dropped from Pep Guardiola’s side. Despite this goalkeeping uncertainty, the Citizens are still title favourites with Coral at 9/4.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is reportedly keen on adding England’s number one, and Goodison Park is 3/1 to be his next permanent destination.

With his starting berth in City’s goal under threat, Coral football writers have picked out five potential Hart replacements…

Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon)

The 52-capped Portugal keeper won Euro 2016 win his nation and was named in the Team of the Tournament. Patricio saved the second highest amounts of shots in the competition, and was integral to his nation’s European Championship triumph, especially in the final.

In his 371 Sporting appearances, he has recorded a superb 143 clean sheets and looks in line for a big move to another top European club.

Alphonse Areola (PSG)

The PSG goalie has been out on loan developing since 2012 and impressed last year with La Liga’s Villarreal. A rumoured destination for Hart is Spain, with Sevilla odds-on at 1/2, as the side possesses two young keepers that could benefit from the City man’s experience.

Areola managed to help the Yellow Submarine on the way to 17 clean sheets last term and concluded the campaign with the second best home record in the division.

At 23-years-old, Areola is every bit the modern keeper, possessing superb shot stopping ability and the close control and distribution that Hart has failed to add to his game.

PSG now possess three quality goalies, with Areola, Salvatore Sirigu and Kevin Trapp in their ranks – with the latter looking like new boss Unai Emery’s number one.

Samir Handanovic (Inter Milan)

Despite standing at 6ft 4in with an imposing physique, Handanovic is agile and renowned for outstanding reflexes and acrobatic saves.

However, it is his ability to organise defences and orchestrate attacks from deep that will have Guardiola interested.

Handanovic is also known for his speed off his line and anticipation, possibly allowing him to be used as a Manuel Neuer-like sweeper-keeper, a role Guardiola valued hugely at Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen)

The 24-year-old German is widely regarded by many as one of the hottest goalkeeping prospects in Europe, and has cemented his place in Leverkusen’s starting squad since his move in 2011.

Leno was a rock for the German outfit last year, seeing them achieve Champions League football. With Omer Toprak (although injured for a large part of the season) next to him last term, the two developed a calm, assured understanding – building attacks from defence. This could attract Guardiola to the capped German international, with John Stones operating in the role Toprak did.

Victor Valdes (Middlesbrough)

This may seen like a left-field choice, but Guardiola adores Valdes and was vital to the way Barca played and dominated during his tenure in Spain.

Valdes regularly racked up more passes than the opposing team for the Catalan club, winning six La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues in the process. He was a trusted performer for Guardiola and may be an option to fill Hart’s boots.

The Catalan coach has won the domestic double at both clubs he has been at so far and is 16/1 to achieve the feat in Manchester.

Boro could be willing to sell after acquiring Valdes for free from Manchester United this summer.


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Robbie Purves