Guardiola will allow Hart to leave City


Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola once again professed his admiration for Joe Hart's abilities but will not stand in the way if the out-of-favour goalkeeper wishes to leave the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola opted to select Willy Caballero as his starting keeper ahead of Hart in last weekend's opening 2-1 win over Sunderland and the Argentinian retained his place, with Hart looking on from the bench once more as City dispatched Steaua Bucharest 5-0 in Tuesday's Champions League play-off first leg.

Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has also been heavily linked with a move to City but, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Stoke City, Guardiola spoke warmly of Hart as a goalkeeper and a person following speculation over a personality clash with the England international.

Nevertheless, the former Bayern Munich boss maintained Hart will be allowed to leave if he desires, a possible message to other senior professionals yet to feature competitively during his reign such as Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala.

Guardiola told reporters: "I spoke with Joe the first moment we met in China [on City's pre-season tour]. I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a keeper. He's valuable.

"I want happiness for the players. I don't want players to stay if they don't want.

"Until [August] 31st, everything is open. If Joe is still here he will be a player to fight with the other goalkeepers for a place.

"If he stays he is going to improve. He's going to understand what we want now from a goalkeeper.

"They [players not picked for City's opening two matches] are not out of the group. Everyone is the same but I have to make the list of 11 players."