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Joe Hart: Nuno told me I was too old and could leave

Joe Hart has revealed how former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo brutally told the goalkeeper he was free to leave Tottenham.

Joe Hart holds up a Spurs shirt after switching to north London in 2020. He was told by new boss Nuno a year later he was free to leave.
Joe Hart holds up a Spurs shirt after switching to north London in 2020. He was told by new boss Nuno a year later he was free to leave.

Hart, 34, left the London Stadium for Celtic – where he is currently No.1 and has won the Scottish League Cup – after new manager Nuno told him in no uncertain terms he would not be involved.

Nuno left Wolves last summer but lasted just 17 matches in charge of Spurs.

“There was a big change going on at Tottenham,” Hart told Dave Edwards’ podcast ‘In The Stiffs’.

“They needed a lot of people out and a lot of people in. (Nuno) proceeded to call me in.

“I knew they were signing another goalkeeper and I was like ‘Do we need to have a conversation?’ He said that wed speak after training.

“He was like ‘I’ll speak first. Let’s be absolutely clear, no matter what happens, you’ll not kick a ball this year.’

“I had got on really well at the club, people had bought into what I was trying to bring and I was like ‘right, okay.’

“He said you’ll be free to work with the sporting director to get yourself out. However you want to play it, play it.”

Hart, who won 75 caps for England and a multitude of trophies while No.1 at Manchester City, explained how he sought answers from Nuno.

The Shrewsbury-born shot-stopper had spent just a single season in north London, having previously been at Burnley for two years after departing City in 2018.

And the former Wolves boss held nothing back when telling Hart he was ‘too old’ and past it.

He added: “I said just out of interest, remove yourself from the situation, you used to be a goalkeeper, why has it come to this?

“Why have I gone from being whoever I was to being completely surplus to requirements in a squad, to not even being able to back up the first-choice? Speak freely.

“He just went ‘In my opinion, we all reach a point in our career where the body won’t allow you to play football. We’re at it now. I would not feel comfortable with you playing one minute for me.

“’The ball’s too quick for you, you’re too old, you’re not moving, you’ve got no strength in your body.’

“He literally buried me and I’m laughing because, whether I’m deluded or not, I was like, I don’t agree with any of that.”

Hart said: “I asked for your opinion, you have given it, it’s not what I wanted to hear and I am going to have to take myself out of this situation.

“I literally went home and I am completely baffled here, I think I’m done, I can’t be a***d anymore.

“I can’t sit in a room anymore and have that said to me by him.”

Hart admitted the last three years prior to moving north of the border had been extremely difficult but the goalkeeper is revitalised with Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic.

“Three years of literally not knowing what the hell I am doing,” he said.

“Going in another direction just getting constantly volleyed in the face when all I am trying to do is my best.

“I was like: “I don’t need this anymore. I’m strong, I’m healthy, I love football.

“I went home and said I’d prefer to play 30 charity games a year for anyone who would want me to play in goal and give something back.

“I can’t be a***d with chasing the ace. I like playing football, but I don’t really like this anymore.”

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