According to The Metro, Manchester City may be about to take a punt on Fraser Forster as doubts continue to grow over the form of Joe Hart.
After playing a vital role in their title-winning success of 2012, Hart showed signs of inconsistency last term when neighbours United wrestled their crown back with ease. Indeed, it has been claimed that had Roberto Mancini remained in charge, he would have ditched his regular number one and signed Asmir Begovic from Stoke City.
Manuel Pellegrini, though, was more than willing to go with the former Shrewsbury Town youngster, but he has again made a number of errors in the early stages of the season. None more so than last weekend, when he needlessly came rushing off his line to allow Fernando Torres to steal in and score Chelsea’s stoppage time winner at Stamford Bridge.
Hart was on the bench for the League Cup win at Newcastle United, yet it was always the intention of the Blues boss to play Costel Pantilimon in the competition. That the Romanian produced an impressive performance against the Magpies, and kept a clean sheet, gives food for thought ahead of the league visit of Norwich City on Saturday.
In the long-term, The Metro claims Pellegrini could look to make Forster his new number one. The tabloid claims the Chilean coach will despatch his scouts to watch the 25-year-old in action in the coming weeks, as his reputation at Celtic continues to grow. The 6ft 7in shot-stopper has been in great form for the Bhoys this season, as he has since joining from Newcastle in 2010, and has also impressed in the UEFA Champions League.
Speaking to the Daily Record earlier this week, chief executive Peter Lawwell admitted that should a reasonable offer arrive for Forster, than the Scottish giants would be prepared to let him leave: “If we are offered the right fee we will take it and reinvest. If we’re bringing players here to develop them and get in the Champions League and they do well, England is down the road. We cannot compete. If we are offered the right fee, we will take it and reinvest in another keeper or another centre forward or another midfielder.”
There have even been suggestions that Forster, who would likely cost at least £10million, could dislodge Hart from the England side ahead of the World Cup Finals. That would perhaps by harsh on the City player, who has barely put a glove wrong for his country, but much will depend on whether his poor form for his club impacts his confidence.