Pellegrini confident of Hart deal

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Published: Friday 24th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is confident England goalkeeper Joe Hart will sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium.

Hart has been back to his best this season and the club have been in negotiations over a new deal.

The 27-year-old’s current contract expires in the summer of 2016.

Pellegrini said: “I think it’s an issue that we’re talking about. Joe knows what I think about that. I think in the right moment, (we will) have the right solution. I think Joe wants to stay here and we want him to stay.”

If he re-signs, Hart would follow team-mates Samir Nasri, Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, who all agreed fresh terms in the summer.

Pellegrini dropped Hart for a spell last autumn after a series of high-profile errors.

He responded well and finished the season strongly, helping City win the Barclays Premier League and Capital One Cup after regaining his place.

This season some of his performances have been top-drawer. He was outstanding in a Champions League loss at Bayern Munich last month and was similarly impressive in last Saturday’s 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham.

Extra motivation might have come from the summer signing of Willy Caballero from Pellegrini’s former club Malaga, but the manager puts the improvement down to Hart himself.

Pellegrini said: “He is not responding to the challenge of Willy. He is responding as number one goalkeeper as England. Except for the first three months of last year, Joe Hart always puts in a very good performance.”

Despite Hart’s brilliance, City’s defence has not been impregnable this season and they have kept just two clean sheets out of eight in the Premier League.

Pellegrini acknowledges that but does not see it is an area needing specific attention and instead wants general improvement across the pitch.

The Chilean said: “We are always trying to improve in all senses, in attack and in defence.

“This season we are not so strong in attacking. Last season in the first eight games I think we had scored more goals than now.

“But also we had conceded more goals than now. This season our defence is (joint) second behind Southampton as the best in the league.

“By our defence I’m not talking about only the back line, I’m talking the whole team, and I think we’re defending well. But of course we must improve. There’s a lot of goals that we can avoid and it will be better for us.”

Published: Friday 24th October 2014 by The News Editor

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