Joe Hart - will he remain in Pep's plans?

By Paul Stewart, Wed 06 July 2016 17:18

Joe Hart - will he remain in Pep's plans?England international faced criticism following Euro 2016

It's fair to say that nobody from England's Euro 2016 squad covered themselves in glory, however the likes of Dier, Rooney and even Vardy will return with their reputations more intact than Joe Hart.

The City stopper made a number of high profile blunders, and exhibited the type of poor goalkeeping that fans are unaccustomed to seeing from him.

It's no secret that Pep demands perfection, and his club successes have always been built around a keeper who can adapt to his philosophy. While Valdes might not have been the formidable keeper that Neuer is, he was still a dependable last line of defence for Barça in their heyday.

After all, joining a team with a player of Manuel Neuer's calibre is like winning the top prize in a casino, your luck couldn't get much better.

Reports have filtered into the press of a City approach for Real Sociedad keeper Geronimo Rulli, who is among the most highly rated youngsters in La Liga. Previously linked to the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan, it seems he's now at the top of Guardiola's summer shopping list.

How seriously City are actually pursuing Rulli remains to be seen, but the idea of Pep demanding competition for Hart is not the most unlikely prospect in the world.

Guardiola is known for a hard-line stance on players who don't meet his expectations, and it was heavily rumoured that one of the key factors in his departure from Barcelona was because of the board's refusal to sell Pique, Fabregas, Villa and Dani Alves…

Many commentators cited that Hart's lack of competition in the England squad may have been a contributing factor to his sub-par performances, and the addition of young Rulli might be just the thing to spark a return to peak form for the England number 1.