An interesting story coming from Alex McLeish today:
"City will take Joe Hart back at the end of the season," said the Birmingham manager. "There is no chance of us signing him in January. We asked the question and they said that won't happen. We never had an option from City to buy him. They said he was going out for experience to improve and he has improved. It doesn't preclude him from coming back and we can negotiate with City for another year. He has the comfort of knowing City really want him and he is part of their future."Leading up to the opening of the January window, any speculation surrounding Hart suggested that a permanent deal was to be tied up by Birmingham ahead of his loan deal ending in the summer.
It is difficult to imagine Hart coming back and either he or the club really content with him merely sat on the bench, yet - and despite Hart's form - there is no conceivable way he dislodges Given from the side.
Hart himself hasn't committed either way as to his preference, yet (and given Mancini's endorsement of him) with Shay Given having at the very least another two or three seasons in him, for Hart to have a long term future with us then a succession of loan deals unless Given is finished may be the only viable option.