Manchester City insist they are not in the market for a new goalkeeper, other than Gerónimo Rulli, who is expected to leave on loan immediately. Despite this, every week information emerges from somewhere in Europe that Pep Guardiola is keen on a prolific shot-stopper from that area of the continent.
The most recent to be linked before today was Portugal ‘keeper Rui Patrício, who Sporting are so concerned about losing to City that they’ve already identified possible replacements.
Today’s apparent target is not a new one, but it is the first time since February that he has been mentioned. Inter and Slovenia star, Samir Handanović, has been one of Serie A’s most prolific goalkeepers for several years, with many surprised he hasn’t moved on due to Inter’s struggles and lack of Champions League football.
Today’s edition of Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Guardiola has serious interest in the 32-year-old, and Inter already have an agreement in place for his replacement, Genoa’s Mattia Perin. With Financial Fair Play problems at the Milan club, Handanović has been one of those speculated to be on his way, being one of Inter’s most valuable assets.
Guardiola is ‘not excited’ by Joe Hart, the famous Italian newspaper claims, and Handanović, a reliable goalkeeper who completes 17% more passes per game than England’s number one, is a player he is said to be keen on bringing to the Etihad. Handanović is also a penalty-saving specialist, a department that Hart himself is no slouch in.
As mentioned, City have been adamant that they do not want a new goalkeeper this summer and are content with Hart and Willy Caballero. However, across Europe there is information from many journalists, clubs and agents that this is not the case. Both of Barcelona’s main sports newspapers, for example, claimed that Marc-André ter Stegen has an offer on the table from Pep Guardiola and informed his club about this days ago.
With time to bed in a new goalkeeper running out now, it’s looking less likely that City will sign a new number one, but that isn’t slowing down the rumour mill. Is Joe Hart on borrowed time at the Etihad or will he prove that he can be a Pep Guardiola style sweeper-keeper?