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Guardiola facing second Hart dilemma ahead of Man City pre-season tour

16:48 GMT+3 06/07/2017
HD Joe Hart
The Catalan has no plans to use the England goalkeeper even in friendly matches but currently has only Ederson and two untested 19-year-olds available

Pep Guardiola is facing a second Joe Hart dilemma in as many summers as he weighs up whether to take the outcast goalkeeper on Manchester City's pre-season tour.

City will only be able to call upon two senior goalkeepers - Hart and new signing Ederson - when they return for training on Monday, given Claudio Bravo is on holiday and Angus Gunn, last season's No.3, has been loaned out to Norwich City.

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Guardiola had planned to take 18-year-old Aro Muric to the United States but the youngster has picked up a knock and could now miss out.

Hart will join the rest of the City squad for the start of pre-season training on Monday but Guardiola has not yet decided whether the England keeper will fly out to the States a week later.

Guardiola will assess his options next week but Goal understands he would rather Hart were not involved in the travelling party. 

Senior City figures implored Guardiola not to sell Hart last summer but the Catalan dug in his heels and ensured the 30-year-old was moved on.

That decision was made after the England man made clear to Guardiola that he did not want to change his game and fit into the coach's plans for City when they sat down one year ago, as has been previously reported by Goal.

That led to animosity between the two but Guardiola swallowed his pride and gave Hart an emotional send-off in last August's Champions League play-off against Steaua Bucharest.

He is unlikely to hand Hart another game in City colours, however. Indeed, a number of City insiders were annoyed when Hart gave an interview to the BBC earlier this year in which he suggested he did not know why he had been forced out.

City are now looking for permanent buyers for Hart and would like to move him on as quickly as possible, but it is widely reported that his suitors are keen on a loan deal.

The likelihood is that Guardiola will use new boy Ederson, who signed from Benfica for £35 million, for the vast majority of City's pre-season games whether Hart makes the trip or not, though Hart's presence around the camp is unlikely to be beneficial, especially if he remains unwilling or unable to contribute to the City boss' playing style.

City moved quickly to sign Ederson this summer because they believe he has all the attributes to thrive in Guardiola's team, and he will be given every opportunity to embed himself ahead of the Premier League season.

City face Manchester United, Real Madrid and Tottenham in America in July, before taking on West Ham in Iceland a week before the new season kicks off.

Bravo has been given 30 days off following the Confederations Cup, where he was a losing finalist with Chile, but could cut his holiday short to join up with City towards the end of their US tour. 

In the meantime Guardiola is likely to turn to two 19-year-olds who barely saw action in City's Under-23 team last season if he does leave Hart at home.

Guardiola had planned to take Under-18 keeper Muric to the States alongside several other highly rated prospects from the City academy.

The Catalan is a huge admirer of Muric and has told friends the Montenigran could play as a ball-playing centre-back, such is the quality of his footwork.

But he picked up a knock over the weekend and is currently fighting to be fit in time for City's flight out to Houston in 10 days' time.

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Should Hart not be selected and Muric not be passed fit, Guardiola would only be able to call upon youngsters Daniel Grimshaw and Kjetil Haug as understudies to Ederson.

Grimshaw played six Uefa Youth League matches and five Premier League 2 matches last season, while Haug played one match in either competition.

City would ideally like to sell Hart in the next 10 days, but that currently appears unlikely.

West Ham have been most heavily linked with interest in Hart but are thought to be insisting on a loan deal, while City want to sell the England No.1 and several other outcasts on permanent deals.

The Blues hope to raise at least £100m through player sales this summer. Hart, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer all spent last season out on loan but City now want permanent buyers.

Several other fringe players, such as Kelechi Iheanacho, Fabian Delph and Fernando, are also up for sale.