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March 16, 2017
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has hinted he would be keen to turn his loan switch to Torino into a permanent transfer.
City manager Pep Guardiola shipped the England international out in August, with Hart making a surprise move to the Serie A outfit on a temporary basis. The 29-year-old has revealed he has enjoyed his time in Italy enormously and that it’s something he will take into account when deciding his future, per Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror:
I am truly happy for this fantastic welcome. I’m very grateful to the fans for everything they are giving to me. I’ll take that into account. I keep everything in consideration for the future, but for now I remain concentrated on Toro and what I need to do.
There is nothing I don’t like about Italian football, from the fans to the coach, Serie A and the culture of Italian football. I like all of it.
Hart has had a decent campaign with Torino, who sit in 10th place in Serie A. They’ve excelled in attack through the goals of Andrea Belotti, but for much of the season, their defending has left much to be desired.
Hart’s performances during his time at the Etihad Stadium made him a club legend, helping the team to two Premier League titles. However, he recently told BBC Sport he doubts he has a future in east Manchester (h/t Bleacher Report UK):
Bleacher Report UK @br_uk
Has Joe Hart played his last game in a Manchester City shirt? https://t.co/RqyA31nd4G
3/10/2017, 11:24:08 AM
Since his departure, City have struggled for consistency between the sticks. The club spent over £15 million on Claudio Bravo to replace him, but the Chilean has struggled since his transfer and has consequently been supplanted by Willy Caballero. It’d be fair to say Caballero has yet to totally convince too.
Prenderville noted that Hart has been linked with Liverpool, West Ham United and Everton in the past. However, based on his recent quotes, it feels as though the England international would be content to spend a few more years in Piedmont yet.
Wylan Cyprien Linked
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According to Le10 Sport (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness) Manchester City have recently shown an interest in landing OGC Nice star Wylan Cyprien.
The midfielder has excelled for Lucian Favre’s side this season, with the team mounting a surprise title challenge in Ligue 1. According to the report, the 22-year-old’s efforts impressed Guardiola, and it is said that City have been in touch with Cyprien with a view to a possible summer switch.
Here’s a look at some of the player’s standout moments from the 2016-17 season:
However, the playmaker’s chances of a move look unlikely. As Coast noted, Cyprien is set for an extended spell on the sidelines, having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament recently.
That’s a massive blow to Nice. As these figures from Squawka Football show, Cyprien is one of the most capable distributors in European football:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Most passes completed in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season:
T. Motta (2,096)
M. Hamsik (1,985)
W. Cyprien (1,755)
3/15/2017, 4:09:14 PM
It’s easy to see why Guardiola admires Cyprien. He’s a brilliant technician, has an excellent passing range and has chipped in with some crucial goals this season. Cyprien has netted eight times in Ligue 1 and set up team-mates on three occasions.
The seriousness of his injury is likely to end any immediate chances of a switch, although the midfielder is undoubtedly a player to keep an eye on once he’s back to full fitness.