England's Joe Hart celebrates after Jamie Vardy scored their second goal
Ahead of Pep Guardiola's opening Premier League game as Manchester City manager, Joe Hart found his place at starting goalkeeper was no longer guaranteed as he was replaced by Willy Caballero for the match against Sunderland.
All summer rumours have been circulating around Hart's place at the club with Guardiola keen to acquire the services of a number of goalkeepers, with the latest being Barcelona's Claudio Bravo as reported in the Daily Mail.
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But despite the latest interest in possible signings and reports in the Liverpool Echo to rivals Everton, the door for a return to the starting lineup under Guardiola still remains firmly open.
Manchester City's Willy Caballero celebrates Sunderland's Paddy McNair scoring a own goal and their second
Hart has been here before, having been dropped by former manager Manuel Pellegrini in 2013 after a string of errors. Hart was determined to win back his place, and did so after Costel Pantilimon was giving the opportunity to establish himself as City's number one.
Once again Hart has insisted he would fight for his place and has also suggested he is ready to stay as reported by Sky Sports. Hart has endured a torrid time of late, particularly at Euro 2016, and was seen to be at fault more than once during the Championships.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
But despite rising tension between Guardiola and Hart, it is believed that Hart feels City is his club and after the 2-1 victory over Sunderland, Guardiola clearly left an imminent return for Hart when Sky Sports reported he said:
"I think Willy had a good pre-season - really, really good. He gave me today a lot of confidence for his build-up play, for his personality and that's why I choose him.
"In the end, I have a squad and I decide what I see. I have to create a team spirit. It's not about tactics, it's not about anything, and I decided today for this line-up.
That does not mean in the future they are not going to play or they are going to play."
This admission from Guardiola sets out that this may very well be a one-off rather than a permanent measure and may end up resulting in Hart be installed back in to the first team sooner rather than later with the Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday evening.