Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned Joe Hart his position will be under threat if he fails to adapt to the Spaniard’s playing style.
Guardiola is looking for a goalkeeper that is just as talented with his feet, and believes Hart needs to improve his level of skill playing out from the back.
City have been linked with a move for Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, with 29-year-old Hart’s future the subject of plenty of speculation in the off-season.
Reports suggest Hart will not be number one for their Premier League opener – on Saturday at home to Sunderland – and Guardiola said the England international must adapt or face losing his spot in the squad all together.
“Joe is a goalkeeper and with a goalkeeper I talk to him and said ‘Here is the ball at your feet’ and about what he has to do rather than what he has to do with his hands,” Guardiola said.
“We have Xabi Mancisidor [goalkeeping coach] for that. So we have had a chat.
“He’s comfortable. He has quality and he can do that… with time. I’m not saying he’s unable to do it.
“Maybe there are other goalkeepers with more quality at that. But Joe, with training, he can do it – with time.
“But his time is now. It’s not about what happens in six months, seven months.”
Guardiola arrives at City with big expectations, having won three consecutive Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich, as well as several major honours with Barcelona.
“I know the expectations are high,” he said. “I know if we don’t win it will be a big disappointment for the fans.
“I have to handle that and I would have stayed in Barcelona if I didn’t think I could.”