Sport Football Man City won’t move out-of-favour Joe Hart
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Man City won’t move out-of-favour Joe Hart

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has ruled out a January window loan move for Joe Hart after confirming the under-fire goalkeeper would start in Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Viktoria Pilzen.

Pellegrini also dismissed reports he might use the next transfer window to sign another keeper following the shaky form of Hart, currently England’s first choice.

Hart’s inconsistent displays recently saw him lose his place in the City side and he has not played in the Premier League club’s last five matches, including their 6-0 thrashing of Tottenham on Sunday.

But Pellegrini said Tuesday: “There is a lot of news about six or seven goalkeepers that we want to buy but it is not true.

“There is no chance that Joe Hart could go out of this squad in January.”

Hart has not played for the north-west club since his last-minute error – rushing to the edge of the area but not claiming the ball – gifted Fernando Torres a goal in City’s 2-1 league defeat away to Chelsea on October 27.

But Hart will be between the posts for the visit of Pilzen – a match where the pressure is off City given they’ve already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

However, with back-up keeper Costel Pantilimon doing little to criticise since replacing Hart, Pellegrini refused to say who would be between the posts for Sunday’s league match against Swansea.

“I think that is a question for next Saturday,” Pellegrini said.

“When we start the next game of the Premier League we will talk about who will start playing,” the Chilean added.

“The important thing for Joe is that he will play tomorrow (Wednesday) and we hope he will have a very good performance.”

If results favour City they could yet finish top of Group D, above reigning champions Bayern Munich and Pellegrini said: “I think it is very important to win the group.

“It is not the most important thing, the most important thing is to qualify, but it is very important to play well also.”