Why are Manchester City yet to agree fresh terms with Joe Hart?

Joe Hart may be tied to Premier League champions Manchester City until 2016, but why have discussions regarding an extension dragged on so long?

Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri, David Silva and Edin Dzeko have all committed to new deals at Manchester City since the end of last season, with Premier League title success helping to convince them that the Etihad Stadium is the best place for their respective careers to blossom.

One man yet to put pen to paper, though, is Joe Hart.

The England international goalkeeper is tied to City until the summer of 2016, but discussions regarding an extended stay have dragged on for some time.

According to the Guardian, there is an expectation that Hart will commit to fresh terms, but not before the turn of the year.

A man who has spent the last eight years in the blue half of Manchester has, however, cast doubt over his continued involvement with the top-flight champions by announcing back in September: “Anything about a new contract is news to me. I’ve heard nothing. I’ve got a year, nearly two years, left on my deal. That is all I am aware of.”

This could be considered a smokescreen by the 27-year-old, intended to hurry City along and possibly up their offer.

If they fear there is a chance of their number one shot-stopper departing for pastures new, maybe the money men will make more of an effort to pull up a chair at the negotiating table.

There is, however, also the possibility that City are keeping their options open, with delaying tactics allowing them to take another long, hard look at Hart before committing considerable time and funds to his services.

  Clean SheetSavesPunchesTotal High ClaimAccurate Goal KicksAppearancesMins Played
Joe Hart 4 29 13 15 38 12 1,080

After all, Manuel Pellegrini dropped him for Costel Pantilimon at one stage last season and spent £6 million during the last transfer window to acquire Willy Caballero.

There are also enticing goalkeeping options out there that may become available in the not too distant future.

Were Tottenham Hotspur to miss out on Champions League qualification again this season, then Hugo Lloris may decide the time has come to jump the White Hart Lane ship.

Reports suggest that Real Madrid icon Iker Casillas is already having such thoughts at Santiago Bernabeu, and Pellegrini would undoubtedly be interested in a player he knows well from his time in La Liga.

Hart, though, remains first-choice for club and country at present and would have every right to feel aggrieved if he was ushered towards the exits and denied the opportunity to help push City forward during an era of success in which he has played a leading role.

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