PEP GUARDIOLA has still to officially take over at Manchester City but already he’s been forced to shoot down speculation surrounding his goalkeeper for next season.
Rumour has it that the current Bayern Munich boss wants to bring Manuel Neuer with him when he takes over from Manuel Pellegrini in the summer.
The Daily Mirror reports: “The German stopper is high on his list of potential transfer targets, plunging Joe Hart’s future into doubt.
“Guardiola is expected to complete a major squad overhaul this summer and super-rich City would have no problem meeting the huge wages of a global star like Neuer.”
However, Guardiola played down the talk, insisting he expects Neuer to be at Bayern for years to come, saying: “Manuel Neuer will be the goalkeeper at Bayern Munich for the next five, six, seven, eight or nine years.
“That’s my hunch. I haven’t asked him about this, I don’t know what he thinks.”
Interesting that Guardiola didn’t actually say he wasn’t keen to sign Neuer – just that he didn’t believe he would be available.
Should the Germany No1 arrive it would almost certainly spell the end of Hart’s City career – there’s no way he could afford to risk not being first-choice, especially with the European Championships just around the corner and Jack Butland – now a serious rival for his England spot – performing so well for Stoke.
Where would Hart go? You’d imagine he’d want to stay with one of the Premier League’s big clubs.
Manchester United (David De Gea), Arsenal (Petr Cech), Chelsea (Thibaut Courtois) and Tottenham (Hugo Lloris) are all well-served in that respect – but Liverpool are desperate for a top-class keeper …
City supporters, who would you prefer in goal – Joe Hart or Manuel Neuer?
Manchester City’s 4-0 demolition of Aston Villa yesterday has enabled them to hold their 3 point cushion over Man United in the race for 4th place and Champions League qualification. United play today to bridge the gap but City will still have a game in hand.
Next up Manchester City face Norwich next Saturday at Carrrow Road as strong favourites around 3/5 or 1.60 in the decimal.