Chelsea are lining up a stunning move for Manchester City reject Joe Hart to replace Thibaut Courtois — should the Belgium goalkeeper join Real Madrid.
Hart has had it made clear to him by City boss Pep Guardiola that he is not in his plans and has spent the last two seasons farmed out on loan to Torino and West Ham.
According to reports in England, the England international, who was left out of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad this summer, could be set for a move to Stamford Bridge and a return to top-six action.
His availability and cost – reported to be £5m – make him an enticing option for new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, although it is a move that may well be met with protests from fans.
Hart struggled to hold down the No 1 jersey at West Ham last season, ousted by Adrian for the second half of the season, and the prospect of Chelsea relying on him as first choice will not fill supporters with much confidence.
Hart was a shock inclusion in City’s squad for their tour of the States, owing to Guardiola being without 15 first-team stars following their World Cup exertions.
The 31-year-old started the friendly against Borussia Dortmund at Soldier Field early Saturday morning as the Premier League side went down to a Mario Gotze penalty.
Hart’s potential move is one Chelsea will only look at should they lose Courtois, which increasingly appears to be the case.
According to reports in Spain, The 26-year-old is already looking for properties around the Spanish capital ahead of move back to the city he spent three years in while playing for Atletico.
Sarri has said he will try to convince the keeper — and his Belgium compatriot Eden Hazard — to stay at Stamford Bridge following his arrival as boss.
Speaking at his unveiling, the Italian said:
‘They are high level players. I would like to keep them in my squad.
‘I want to meet them face to face, talk to them and understand what the best thing will be to do for everyone. I would like a player to come with me on to the pitch for four or five days to see what the situation is.’