Joe Hart is linked on a free transfer with a Championship club in the hope to reignite his playing career, according to reports.
Alan Nixon has revealed that Derby County are lining up a possible swoop for the Burnley goalkeeper, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
The former England international has struggled for game time at Turf Moor, playing just three games this season, and his current deal is set to expire at the end of the campaign.
Since 2018, he’s played 19 times for Burnley, and prior to that, he was with West Ham where he also made the same number of appearances.
— Derby County Live (@dcfc_live) April 18, 2020
Besiktas are also showing interest in him due to his ‘top reputation and past experiences in European football’ along with his loan spell at Serie A side Torino a few years back.
A deal with the Turkish side will depend on whether they can do a deal to keep Loris Karius, who is on loan from Liverpool.
Speaking in October about wanting to play, and the possibility of heading elsewhere, he said: “I hope so, it’s what I’m working every day to do (play football). It’s been a difficult couple of years for me thus far.
“It’s been really frustrating because I moved away from Manchester City fully intending on keeping my England shirt so I made decisions that had to be made but they weren’t necessarily great future moves for me but I appreciate the clubs that took me on.
“I just want to play. I want to play at the highest level. It doesn’t (look like it will be at Burnley), it’s very strange, I get on with the manager, they’ve got a direction they want to go in, Nick (Pope) is doing great.
“Whilst I’m still a member of that squad I’m going to work my hardest for that team.
“Obviously I have to respect my contract and I’ll fight for Burnley whilst I’m contracted to them but I’m 32, I’ve had a few years off, I feel good, I’d love an opportunity but I’m going to keep fighting for Burnley, my contract is up in the summer so we will see where that takes me.
“I’m looking forward to playing football again. It’s something I would do again (playing abroad), I really enjoyed that experience. English football for me at the moment, I don’t know if I’m going to get to do what I want to do.”
Hart is described as a vastly experienced keeper, who has made 537 senior appearances across his career. He started with Shrewsbury Town before working his way up with loan spells at Tranmere, Blackpool and Birmingham, before signing and spending the majority of his career with Manchester City, where he went on to win the Premier League twice, the FA Cup once, the League Cup twice, won the PL golden glove a total of 4 times and played 42 times in the Champions League.
Prior to the league suspension, the Rams sat 12th in the Championship table with 9 games left to play and had eyes on a playoff place.
Their interest in buying Hart depends on the financial situation at Pride Park, not only due to the consequence of the coronavirus, but the Rams face an EFL charge over alleged breaches of rules following a review of the club’s profitability and sustainability submissions.
They could be issued with a possible points deduction if found guilty of recording “excess losses” over the amount permitted (£39m) for the three-year period ending June 30, 2018.
Derby reported combined pre-tax losses of over £8m in that time, despite posting a profit of £14.6m in their latest accounts.
Those figures were boosted due to the £80m stadium sale to a company owned by chairman Mel Morris – with the club leasing it back afterwards.
They will find out more on the charge at a later date after it was referred to an independent disciplinary commission, when both the EFL and Derby speak out.
Fans reacted after reading that Joe Hart is linked on a free transfer with the Championship club…
Noooooooooo!!!!! Would people rather have 2-3 decent championship standard players or one accident prone has-been? Give Hart’s wages, that will be the choice
— Peter Lee (@peterlee7395) April 18, 2020
Still potentially a very good goalkeeper but we can’t afford him. We can’t sell the ground again.
— Steven Wild (@IamSpooksDad) April 19, 2020
Everyone is always quick to assume that they will want what they earn in the prem.
Players like Hart aren’t stupid. He is already a multi millionaire. As you say, he might just want to get regular game time at a good level again and try and achieve and leave a legacy.
— Darren Weightman (@dazw71) April 19, 2020
Bring him in .. be a great signing #dcfc
— creationalien (@creationalien1) April 19, 2020
People talking about his wages, maybe he’d be willing to take a big wage cut in return for regular game time. Could be a very good signing.
— Ryan ⚽?? (@ryangj) April 19, 2020
I would take him.
— Steve Crossley (@SteveCrossley80) April 18, 2020
— Joseph Harris (@joey231195) April 19, 2020
Can’t wait for Derby to sign Joe Hart and have head & shoulders paying his wages for us
— Kyle Guest (@Kyleguest) April 19, 2020
I find it amusing that some Rams fans don’t think Joe Hart – a bloke with 75 England caps – is good enough for Derby…
Only the finance would concern me, and that is someone else’s issue. Most keepers reach their peak in their 30s… https://t.co/87E20OqFzj
— Steve Dolman (@Peakfanblog) April 19, 2020
Any transfer comes down to 2 things: is he better than we have and can we afford him.
Answer to first is yes. He is an international after all and excellent at his best.
But if he wants a move, he has to be sensible and accept a sizeable drop in salary.
— Steve Dolman (@Peakfanblog) April 19, 2020