JOE HART FACES the threat of World Cup heartache with England as West Ham have no intention of cutting a frustrating loan spell short.
Having been deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, the experienced goalkeeper has been forced to try to find regular football elsewhere.
A stint at Torino in 2016-17 afforded Hart plenty of game time, but further highlighted his flaws when it comes to costly errors.
West Ham were prepared to give him another crack at the Premier League last summer, as they took the 30-year-old on a season-long agreement, but they too have nudged him down the pecking order as Adrian has reclaimed starting duties.
Another move has been mooted for Hart before Wednesday’s transfer deadline, but Hammers boss David Moyes has sought to quash such talk by telling reporters: “No, no. You can talk as much as you like about it (cutting the deal short) but we’ve got no intentions.
“Adrian has got to be at his best in all the games. I’ve got tight competition. I’ve got England’s goalkeeper, which will keep Adrian on his toes.
“That’s obvious. In a way I’m quite happy with that because I need the goalkeepers to play really well for us to win the games and stay away from the bottom end of the league.
“At every opportunity, when I think it is right, I will play Joe Hart.
I will give Joe Hart an opportunity to show but I would never be disrespectful to Adrian in any way because Adrian has earned it by his performances.
“At every opportunity I can, I will give Joe the opportunity to show he is still England’s best goalkeeper. I’ll try to do that. If Adrian in any way slips up then I’ve got Joe ready.”
Newcastle are among those to have been linked with a move for Hart, with it suggested that a lack of game time with West Ham would see him freed to head elsewhere.
Moyes, though, appears to have ruled out any possibility of another loan switch being made.
Hart, then, will have to hope that he is given further opportunities to impress before the end of the season, with England manager Gareth Southgate having already admitted that he wants to be in a position to select players who are playing regularly when he pieces together his plans for a shot at global glory in Russia this summer.
The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):