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A range of Sunday's newspapers are adamant that Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has decided to make Joe Hart's exile a permanent one, even as the goalkeeper looks set to keep his place with England.
The Sunday People claims that Pellegrini has targeted Barcelona's Victor Valdes as the man to replace Hart, who has come under pressure for a series of high-profile errors in recent times.
Steve Bates writes:
Manchester City are set to offload Joe Hart—throwing England’s World Cup plans into chaos.
The Blues' new boss Manuel Pellegrini has finally lost patience with the Three Lions' first-choice goalkeeper after a series of howlers and wants to bring in Barcelona No.1 Victor Valdes.
If he cannot land Valdes, who has told Barca he is quitting the Nou Camp at the end of this season, Pellegrini will switch to QPR’s Brazil international Julio Cesar.
Pellegrini believes Hart was promoted at City too quickly under previous boss Roberto Mancini and has not had sufficient competition for club or country.
And with Valdes on the market at the end of the season, he has already started the process to woo the vastly experienced Nou Camp star.
Other newspapers also expect Hart to remain dropped, with The Sunday Telegraph claiming Hart has been given three months to resume playing first-team football by England boss Roy Hodgson.
The papers are short on suggestions of where Hart might leave, however—apart from the Mail on Sunday, where Rob Shepherd claims Juventus could be a surprise escape route:
Hart will discover that he is not a target for the big clubs in England with Champions League possibilities Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.
So unless Hart is prepared to drop down a tier in the Premier League it is likely he would have to look towards the continent, where he would be courted by several top clubs in Germany, France and Spain.
Juventus of Italy though could be the best possibility.
After the World Cup finals legendary keeper Gianluigi Buffon, who has started to show signs of his age, is likely to end his international career for Italy and may well wind down his club career too at the age of 36.
Hart would be seen as a potential replacement.