Some candidates the Citizens should consider should they decide to drop the England no.1
Joe Hart may be untouchable as England’s number one between the sticks under Roy Hodgson, but despite starting in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Everton at the weekend, club boss Manuel Pellegrini was keen to take a different tact.
Speaking to the BBC after the game, in which Hart made another unfortunate error, the Chilean admitted he had doubts about starting with the 26-year-old.
"It wasn't a simple decision [to play Hart]. It was a very difficult decision," he told the news provider.
Should Hart continue to make mistakes between the sticks at the Etihad then Pellegrini may need to consider other options. Here are three of them.
Diego López – Real Madrid
Signed from Sevilla for just €3.5 million in January after first-choice Iker Casillas was struck down with a hand injury, the 31-year-old impressed so much for Los Blancos that he continues to be picked ahead of his Spanish compatriot.
Given the influence that Casillas enjoys at the Bernabeu though, it looks almost inevitable that Lopez will lose his starting place, making a transfer to another team challenge both domestically and in Europe a tempting prospect.
Pellegrini also has a pre-existing relationship with the stopper, having managed the goalkeeper during his spell as manager of Villarreal and this could prove key to any deal.
Asimir Begovic – Stoke City
When the Potters completed the signing of England prospect Jack Butland last season, many assumed that the deal would ultimately pave the way for Begovic’s departure from the Britannia.
But after Liverpool, a club the Bosnian had long been linked with, opted to sign Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet, the 26-year-old was left in a bit of a limbo.
Whatever he may be feeling off the pitch, however, does not seem to be affected his performances on it, with Begovic the custodian of the Premier League’s sixth meanest defence so far this season.
The former Portsmouth man would relish the big stage at the Etihad and with 24 international caps to his name already, could take to the European stage with ease.
Tim Howard - Everton
Over the years keepers like Brad Friedel and Shay Given have won praise from all corners for their consistent performances and incredible reflexes between the posts, but one man often overlooked is Tim Howard.
How Manchester United must regret jettisoning a goalkeeper who as ultimately gone on to become one of the most respected and error-free stoppers in the game today and who can also boast arguably the best distribution skills in the English top-flight, as demonstrated against Newcastle last week.
At age 34 and with nearly 250 Premier League appearances and over 90 caps for Team USA to his name, they don’t come much more experienced than Howard and how many fans would relish turning the Red Devils reject into a Manchester City success?
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