Manchester City are reportedly interested in Uruguayan Fernando Muslera to replace Joe Hart - but is he really any better?
The future of Joe Hart continues to be a talking point at the Etihad Stadium, as manager Manuel Pellegrini has vowed to stick with Romanian international Costel Pantilimon for the foreseeable future.
Pantilimon made his first Premier League start at the weekend against Norwich, and kept a clean sheet, though City's 7-0 win reflects the easy nature of his afternoon. Pellegrini has since stated that Pantilimon will keep his place for the Champions League fixture against CSKA Moscow, consigning Hart to the bench once again so the England No. 1 can have an extended rest.
'Joe needs a rest. I think it will be useful for him. He played the last two years and had every match here. Every player can have a bad moment. We will work hard behind Joe so we can return him to his normal performance as soon as possible,' Pellegrini stated.
Despite Pellegrini's public backing of the under-fire England goalkeeper, City have been linked with a number of shot stoppers in recent times, such as Celtic's Fraser Forster and Willy Caballero of Malaga, but another of their rumoured targets could be allowed to leave his club.
Fernando Muslera, formerly of Lazio, is currently plying his trade with Turkish side Galatasaray, and according to club president Unal Aysal, they could be tempted to sell the Uruguayan - if the offer is right.
'I hope Fernando stays with us but we know there is interest in him in England,' said Aysal. 'If a big offer arrives, maybe £25m, we will consider selling him.'
Muslera has made no secret of his desire to play in the Premier League, and a move to City could give him that opportunity, but for the meantime, the 27 year old appears to be committed to the Turkish giants.
'To play there is my childhood dream,' Muskera said, 'Every player wants to play in England, but it is my club who will make the decision. I am happy here, I am a Galatasaray fan. Anyway, if a great offer comes at the end of the season, the president will decide.'
A potential stumbling block in Pellegrini's bid to sign Muslera could be his predecessor Robert Mancini, who has just been appointed manager of Galatasaray, and may choose to try and keep his star goalkeeper. An amicable solution may be to offer left back Aleksandr Kolarov in part exchange, who is reportedly interesting Mancini.
Regardless, £25m is a large amount of money for a goalkeeper who had his fair share of blunders with Lazio, and whilst he has developed and improved with Galatasaray, he is just as likely to cost City points as Hart is – who I still believe will overcome his recent poor form to prove that he is still one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League. The extended break should give Hart time to recapture his form and work on his deficiencies, but spending £25m on somebody who may not even be better than Hart would be a terrible decision by Pellegrini.
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