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Rumor Mongering: Owner of a Lonely Hart

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Liverpool’s January transfer window kicks off with an unsubstantiated tale of an exiled hero’s shrouded future at Torino.

Joe Hart of Torino FC gestures during the Serie A football...
Hart: “Come and get me!” LFC: “New phone. Who this?”
Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

In the prior episode of the Italian soap opera that absolutely nobody is watching right now, our leading man Joe Hart was caught in the middle of a purported love triangle, with the other two pointy ends of the triangle played by Torino and Liverpool. Now, it seems Mr. Hart may be ready to decide which club to put in his phone’s “favorites” list, but will that club pick up the phone when Joe calls?

Longtime viewers will recall that Hart, having been exiled to Italy on a loan deal by Pep Guardiola (the villain of this particular show), put on a brave face and committed himself to performing for Torino. “He’s even trying to learn Italian!” exclaimed the papers, which, to be fair, is a noteworthy effort at acclimatization on Hart’s part given that Steven Gerrard spent more than a year in southern California and probably never visited an In-N-Out Burger even once.

With Torino currently soaring to the dizzying heights of 8th place in the Serie A table, some might have hoped for a permanent deal to materialize for the English keeper, thus allowing Hart to follow in the footsteps of other English legends in Italy, such as Paul Gascoigne. Alas, the sordid subject of coin looks to have once again scuppered any hopes of happiness, as Torino president Urbano Cairo confirmed recently that “[w]e know he is not our player and his wages are not accessible for us.” Mr. Cairo is clearly not one to splurge on a first date.

What about a return to England? Just a few days ago, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was advocating for Jürgen Klopp to consider Hart as an option to resolve the Lorius-Karius-or-Simon-Mignolet question. Carragher’s pulse may have quickened slightly when reports emerged in the Manchester Evening News that the player himself has told friends that he would “jump at the chance” join Klopp’s project at Anfield.

But almost as soon as this completely dubious and unsubstantiated declaration emerged, there were rumblings that we would not see young Mr. Hart at Melwood at any point in the near future. Sky Sports, citing “sources,” noted that Liverpool would not be pursuing Hart “in this transfer window or the next.”

Ouch. Will our young hero find true happiness anytime soon, and if so, where will it be? Stay tuned folks, as the January transfer silliness has now officially started.