With Joe Hart’s move to Torino all but done, the 29 year old will become the first England keeper to ply his trade in Serie A since the inception of the league in 1929/30.
It’s also a coup of sorts for Torino, who will reportedly have to pay Hart only 1 million euros in salary (less than a third of his overall salary), with City bearing the rest of his wages.
The likes of Paul Ince, Paul Gascoigne and David Beckham have all had spells in Italy, but no English keeper has played there till now, and it’s more remarkable because Hart is currently No.1 for the Three Lions and was under the sticks for their Euro 2016 campaign.
Hart was forced to look for options after new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola informed him that he was not part of his future plans and completed the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona. He had options, with Everton and Sunderland both interested, but Torino have emerged as surprise winners for his signature, probably aided by their strong fan base and the fact they’re not direct opposition to City in Europe this season.
Could this be a mini Juventus audition for Hart, with Gigi Buffon set to hang up his boots soon? At 29, Hart is starting the prime of his career as a keeper and could easily play for another decade or so.
Torino have lost some key players this season- Kamil Glik, Bruno Peres and Nikola Maksimovic have all left the club. They’re currently coached by Sinisa Mihajlovic and will be keen to improve on their 12th place finish from last season. At the club, Hart will be competing with Padelli and Alfred Gomis for a starting spot.
Torino lost their league opener 3-2 to Milan, but then bounced back with a 5-1 trouncing of Bologna at home.