Sunderland manager David Moyes has said that he rejected the opportunity to sign England goalkeeper Joe Hart, according to the Shields Gazette.
The 29-year-old shot-stopper had been the number one at Manchester City ever since he was chosen ahead of Shay Given at the start of the 2010/11 campaign, and has gone on to win two Premier League titles and an FA Cup in his time at the Etihad Stadium.
However, the arrival of Pep Guardiola cast into doubt Hart’s short-term future at Eastlands, and the signing of Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo suggested to the England international that he was not in Guardiola’s plans.
Subsequently, there was interest in the 29-year-old, and Sunderland boss Moyes admits he had the chance to bring him to the Stadium of Light before he moved to Italian side Torino, but wanted to keep faith with young keeper Jordan Pickford instead.
The former Manchester United manager said: ‘When I arrived, Vito Mannone was probably the number one on experience but his injury meant we needed to turn to Jordan [Pickford] and he has stood up to all we’ve asked of him.
‘I could have brought in Joe Hart, we thought he would have been ideal for us, but I had to think of Jordan’s progression too and he hasn’t let us down.’
This news may frustrate Sunderland fans, but their goalkeeping situation is not the chief reason why they are bottom of the Premier League.
The Black Cats have won just one of their first 11 matches, and are already six points adrift of safety having picked up just five points so far.