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City outcast Hart’s England career in the balance amid criticism for Scotland draw

Date Posted,June 11, 2017

Joe Hart is facing the England axe after his career was left in limbo.

England boss Gareth Southgate is ready to bring in Jack Butland for Tuesday’s friendly with France in Paris, and the 24-year-old Stoke keeper is seen as his potential long-term No1.

Southgate said: “Our intention was always to give someone else a game – and, however that looks, I will have to ride that out.

“I am seeing a headline that says ‘Hart is not safe’… but we need competition. Who knows who will be fit and available? Too many times we have got to a tournament when a key player is not fully fit.”

Hart is an an outcast at Manchester City and has confessed there are no offers on the table for him at club level.

Leigh Griffiths sent an 87th-minute free-kick past Hart to equalise… (Photo: AFP/Getty)
…then repeated the trick three minutes later to put Scotland 2-1 in front (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Unless he can find a new home at a top club, his international future is under threat.

The 30-year-old spent last season on loan at Italy’s Torino. He has two years left on his current £120,000-a-week contract with City and appears to have very few options.

Liverpool have ruled themselves out of the running, Everton would struggle to fit him into their pay structure and David de Gea now looks to be staying at Manchester United.

Butland is fit again after over a year out injured and is six years younger than Hart (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)

Hart, who has also seen Blues boss Pep Guardiola sign Brazilian keeper Ederson for £35m — a record for the position — in the past week, said: “I would love to give you a poker-straight answer but I’ve got nothing at the moment.

“It’s a strange world the goalkeeping world and patience is probably going to have to be key at the moment.

“I certainly don’t think they (City) are going to try to price me out of a move.

Joe Hart walks to the bench behind Pep Guardiola
If Hart can’t get a move, City’s bench beckons — and he won’t play for England from there (Photo: Reuters)

“I think there’s enough respect between the player and club to work together. There’s no point in working against.

“There no animosity between the two. They are going in their direction and I need to go in mine.”

But Southgate admitted he is ready to change the keepers and also look for competition — especially after Hart came in for heavy criticism on Saturday having conceded two goals direct from free-kicks in the 2-2 draw with Scotland.

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