‘Humble’ Hart leaves Man City as Torino loan is confirmed

Ian Watson

England goalkeeper Joe Hart has joined Torino on a season-long loan from Manchester City, the clubs have announced.

The 29-year-old made the switch after leaving the England training camp on Tuesday to finalise terms and undergo a medical.

The move is expected to ensure regular action for Hart after he slipped down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium following the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona last week.

With new City boss Pep Guardiola making clear his preference for a ball-playing keeper, Willy Caballero was preferred to Hart for the opening three Premier League matches of the season. The arrival of Bravo then effectively pushed Hart down to third place.

He was given permission to seek first-team football elsewhere and Torino emerged as the most likely destination after Everton and Sevilla distanced themselves from the player and Sunderland’s reported interest was not reciprocated.

England manager Sam Allardyce then allowed Hart time away from preparations for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Slovakia to resolve his club future before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.

Hart told Torino’s website: “Suddenly, my career has undergone a change, I took it as a sign of destiny, so I had to do something.”

“The offer from Torino came at the right time, in the right way. I’m very happy to be able to test myself in a beautiful and difficult league like Serie A. Your goalkeeping tradition is recognised throughout the world, so I’m convinced I can learn a lot here at Toro.

“For that reason, I immediately accepted President Cairo’s offer with great enthusiasm. In terms of the staff, I already know Lombardo, I worked together with Attillio in Manchester and we won, we hope to relive a lot of wonderful emotions together.

“I read some interviews from Toro, the coach [Sinisa Mihajlovic] wants humble but ambitious players – I also really like that, that’s how I want to be.”

Hart had been at City 10 years and been at the centre of all their success in recent seasons, including the Premier League title wins of 2012 and 2014.

But his sudden demotion by Guardiola underlines the decisiveness with which the club are now moving in a new direction under the Spaniard.