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Hart put on standby for England recall

Joe Hart’s retirement from playing could be put back until July with the Celtic keeper a surprise candidate for England’s European Championship squad.

At the end of February the experienced keeper killed off speculation about his future by announcing that he would be retiring at the end of this season, if Celtic beat Aberdeen in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup the final on May 25 should be his final appearance.

Hart picked up his 75th and what seemed like his last England cap on 14th November 2017 against Brazil at Wembley but has never closed the door on international football.

It was a blow when Gareth Southgate then left Hart out of the England squad for the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia but an unexpected chain of events has brought Hart back into Southgate’s plans.

For the recent internationals the England boss was left to work with Jordan Pickford who is battling relegation at Everton for the third season running, as back up he had Aaron Ramsdale who has been second choice to David Raya at Arsenal since September.

Sam Johnston of Crystal Palace and Burnley’s James Trafford were part of the recent squad get together but neither has convinced Southgate that they are ready for the cut and thrust of tournament football in the summer with England among the favourites.

Nick Pope of Newcastle is expected to return from injury this month but Southgate won’t be taking any chances with goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson tasked with compiling some back-up options.

Following prompting from BBC Scotland and the Daily Record Margetson examined Jack Butland’s form but during the two Glasgow Derbies that featured the former Crystal Palace reserve his eye was taken by Hart in the other goal.

Goalkeeping spies have been sent to watch Hart in recent weeks which has prompted discussions between the Celtic keeper and the England management team about delaying his retirement until after the Euros.

Southgate is in weekly contact with Nick Pope at Newcastle, if he fails to return to top form then Hart looks like being included in the England squad for Germany at the age of 38.

Approached with the story a source close to the Daily Record said: “Away you go Joe, we’re not touching that with a barge pole.

We’ve been working on our Butland for England campaign for months, we even had a supplement planned until that last squad was announced. There’s no way that we can retain our credibility with Hart for England if the Pope can’t make it.”

Southgate is expected at Ibrox on Sunday where he can compare both goalkeepers, an option he barely gets at any EPL fixture.

CLICK HERE for the three unanswered questions from Rodgers’ SFA appeal.

CLICK HERE for Hart’s England appearances and stats.

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1 Comment

  • by April Fool
    Posted April 1, 2024 8:48 am 0Likes

    Like it Joe, like it very much 😂

    Editor: Cheers, it is a tricky balancing act between sort of believable while also dropping in a few very obvious clues.

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