Report: Celtic open talks with Tottenham Hotspur for former England goalkeeper Joe Hart

By Euan Davidson

July 28, 2021

Celtic have opened talks with Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Joe Hart, according to transfer whiz Fabrizio Romano.

The Italian reporter, famous for his transfer scoops, said that negotiations are “ongoing” between the clubs. Hart has struggled for first-team minutes since the 18-19 season, when he made 19 Premier League appearances for Burnley [Transfermarkt].

It’s a report that highlights one of Celtic’s key problems. After an initially promising pre-season, Vasilis Barkas has failed to win over sceptics. Ange Postecoglou admitted the club doesn’t have a recognised number 1.

Hart used to be one of the top keepers in Europe. He won 4 English Premier League Golden Glove Awards [Premier League], and has 75 England caps [Transfermarkt].

The Leigh Griffiths distraction that Celtic don't need

However, his once-solid reputation has floundered in recent years. Formerly the undisputed number 1 at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola never fancied the Shrewsbury-born stopper [Manchester Evening News].

At his peak, Hart could be relied upon for his quick reactions. He made 5.5 saves per 90 in the 12-13 Champions League [WhoScored?]. Last campaign, Hart amassed four clean sheets from 6 Europa League games [Transfermarkt].

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It would certainly be quite the act of redemption if 34-year-old Hart became a success at Celtic. For sure, he has the pedigree, but his strange career arc has seen his appearances dwindle over time.

Does Joe Hart fit at Celtic under Ange Postecoglou?

This a curious move, to say the least. Especially in terms of Hart’s playing style and how it would fit under Ange Postcoglou.

Never the best passer of the ball, his ability in possession came under question. In 2016, Pep Guardiola brought in former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in to be his sweeper-keeper [BBC], something Hart wasn’t equipped to do.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Given that Postecoglou prefers keepers who can be trusted on the ball, either to start attacks or help the team maintain their shape, Joe Hart seems an uncomfortable fit here.

His shot-stopping prowess has never been in much doubt, especially during his prime. However, it seems like a lateral move, in terms of the way Postecoglou utilises keepers in his preferred shape.

It’s one to keep an eye on, certainly. But is it the right move for Celtic?

In other news: Ange Postecoglou allays some fan fears

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