25 Aug Everton no Hart
Everton manager Ronald Koeman shut down talk of a move for England goalkeeper Joe Hart in three simple words on Thursday.
Hart is set to leave Manchester City having been reduced to a fringe role with the club since Pep Guardiola’s arrival as coach and he made what appeared to be his farewell against in the Champions League qualifier Steaua Bucharest.
But despite Hart’s goodbyes to the Etihad Stadium crowd, his next destination seems hard to discern.
The Toffees were strongly linked with a move but when asked about the player, Koeman said emphatically: “There’s no interest.”
There have been reports that Hart’s wages have proved off-putting, but Koeman appeared to deny that when questioned if Hart had ever appealed.
“No…no,” he said, leaving no room for doubt.
Koeman’s unequivocal response on Hart was at odds with his wider outlook on the final week of the transfer window.
With incomings almost a certainty at Goodison Park and further outgoings also likely – James McCarthy and Bryan Oviedo having this week been linked with departures – the Dutchman preferred not to deal in specifics.
Instead he is focusing on Saturday’s clash with Stoke, when his side will attempt to build on a promising start of four points from their first two matches.
“Like everyone we’re trying to improve, to make the squad stronger that we have at the moment,” he said.
“But I’m not that manager who speaks a lot about rumours, about players. Everyone will see at the end of the transfer window what the final squad at Everton is.
“I don’t talk about which positions, which players….we play Stoke at home this Saturday and that’s more important than all the rumours and transfers. I need to prepare the team for Saturday.”
Koeman could hand first Premier League starts to new arrivals Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie after they both came through 90 minutes in the EFL Cup win over Yeovil on Tuesday but Seamus Coleman remains out with an ankle injury.
McCarthy, Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley are deemed “small doubts” by Koeman but could still feature against the Potters.