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Mancini plans talks with Joe

Joe Hart England U21 International March 2009

Joe Hart England U21 International March 2009

Roberto Mancini is set to have an important end-of-season heart-to-heart ... with young City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

The Blues manager, who hopes to lead the club's first Champions League campaign, faces a tough decision in the summer over whether to agree a repeat of Hart's loan season at Birmingham.

The England squad goalkeeper, who is not allowed to play in Sunday's Premier League game against his parent club, has flourished at St Andrews as Alex McLeish's first choice.

But Mancini knows that a duel for City's No.1 spot between two of the best keepers in the League could only benefit the Blues' season as well as offering rotation options.

Brum chief McLeish fears he will have to wave goodbye to his brave Hart, though Mancini would then have to keep both the youngster and Republic of Ireland legend Shay Given happy.

City's boss said: "We have a very good goalkeeper at the club in Shay Given. Shay and Joe Hart are two of the best in the Premier League, and it is important to have two good goalkeepers.

"The Premier League season is long, and if you are playing in the Champions League, as well as the FA Cup and the League Cup, then you need the players - you need two top goalkeepers.

It is important that I speak with Joe in the weeks after the Premier League finishes, then we will see about next season. He has worked very well at Birmingham and he has developed



Mancini might have to squeeze their conversation in rather quickly if, as many observers are urging, 22-year-old Hart is included in the England party for the World Cup in June.

He added: "Joe could be at the World Cup - he is a good, young, strong goalkeeper. Capello knows him very well now, and if he decides on Joe, then that is a good choice.

"I'm happy for Joe that he's doing so well .... but I'm also pleased that he cannot play against us on Sunday!"

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