A carousel of goalkeepers looks set to take place this summer after it emerged Real Madrid are hoping to take Joe Hart from Manchester City, who are eyeing a move for soon-to-be out of contract Victor Valdes.
According to the Daily Star's Adrian Kajumba, Carlo Ancelotti is looking to "shake up" the goalkeeping situation at the Bernabeu, not entirely convinced of Diego Lopez's long-term potential and with Iker Casillas' future in serious doubt.
Hart shares the same representatives as Gareth Bale, who joined Real for a world record £85m last summer. Although he was axed earlier this season by City boss Manuel Pellegrini following a series of costly blunders, he has bounced back to regain his best form and his place as City's first choice. [...]
Pellegrini is reluctant to lose Hart, but would consider cashing in on him if he can line up a big name replacement such as Barcelona's Victor Valdes.
It was almost 12 months ago that Valdes was quoted by BBC Sport stating that his time as a Barca player would come to an end come the completion of his current contract, expiring this summer.
Though La Blaugrana have shown no intention to re-sign Valdes on new terms, the Spanish international stands as a potentially valuable pick-up for some of Europe's top sides this term, and it's understandable City might be among those attracted.
In late February, Squawka broke down Hart's season into numbers, compared alongside those he's expected to be fighting against for England's No. 1 jersey at this year's World Cup:
In Madrid, Lopez and Casillas have been compared by WhoScored.com in a bid to see who's most deserving of Ancelotti's starting spot:
GRAPHIC: Iker Casillas vs Diego López - Head-to-Head La Liga statistics pic.twitter.com/t4QqmBQEHr— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 5, 2014
Hart's current deal at the Etihad Stadium doesn't expire for another two years, but his place in the squad is still unsteady, having only recently re-taken his spot in the starting XI after a brief spell with Costel Pantilimon as the preferred option.
Manuel Pellegrini has been unashamed in his habit of selecting the most in-form personnel available to him, even if that's meant dropping England's top option between the sticks.
Kajumba's report would suggest that Ancelotti sees through the contention and, in Hart, a presumable successor to Lopez and Casillas. As England's No. 1, Hart fits the right type of big-name criteria that Madrid pursue when entering the transfer market.
Following Bale's mega-money move to Madrid, which is showing signs of proving a real success, it's possible another high-profile Briton will make his way to the Bernabeu this summer as a goalkeeping merry-go-round comes within view.