Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has joined Serie A club Torino on loan until the end of the season.
Hart, 29, has been allowed to leave the Etihad Stadium after falling down the pecking order under new City boss Pep Guardiola.
The England international has been left on the bench for City’s three Premier League matches this season with Willy Caballero starting instead.
The club last week completed the signing of Chile captain Claudio Bravo for £13.5 million from Barcelona, with Guardiola wanting a keeper who is more comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Joe Hart has joined @TorinoFC_1906 on a season-long loan – good luck in Italy, Joe
Read: https://t.co/j5HP5FHM0U pic.twitter.com/25aPgYvJ9V
– Manchester City (@ManCity) August 31, 2016
Hart has been training with England ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Slovakia on Sunday, but was given special dispensation to travel to Italy to complete a medical.
He agreed terms with Torino on a season-long loan, with City paying a significant percentage of his wages, according to reports.
Hart, who has made 348 appearances over his 10 seasons at City, was also linked with a move to Sunderland, but has chosen to rebuild his career in Serie A.
“Suddenly my career has taken a turn and I’ve seen this as a sign of destiny,” Hart said on Torino’s official website. “And so I had to do something about it. Torino’s offer was the right one at the right time. I’m pleased to be able to play in a great and difficult league which is Serie A.
“Your goalkeeper school is renowned the world over, which is why I’m convinced I can learn a lot more here at Toro, and this is another reason why I immediately accepted the offer from president [Urbano] Cairo with great enthusiasm.
“Of the staff, I know [Attilio] Lombardo already — I worked together with Attilio in Manchester and we also won there, and I hope to relive many great emotions together. I’ve read a few interviews about Toro and the coach wants his players to be humble and ambitious, and I like this a lot because that is how I want to be.”
Che entusiasmo per #Hart https://t.co/E4JaBKjLaX #SFT #110annidiToro La prima giornata del portiere inglese a #Torino
– Torino Football Club (@TorinoFC_1906) August 31, 2016
Cairo said: “Joe Hart is a top international goalkeeper with substantial experience both with Manchester City and with the England national team, in which he even debuted at the age of 21.
“To have succeeded in signing him gives us all great satisfaction and attests for our ambitions of wanting to build an even better, more competitive squad.
“As always, it will be what happens on the pitch which will determine whether we have succeeded, but certainly we didn’t hesitate for a single second when and we took this opportunity to enter into negotiations with Manchester City.
“In addition to Hart’s talent, he is extremely humble, has the enthusiasm to prove himself every single day to earn a place as a protagonist — these are the same stimuli which will also spur on his teammates and for this, and in the name of everybody at the club, I am delighted to give Joe Hart the most cordial of welcomes. Welcome to Torino, and always Forza Toro!”
He endured a disappointing summer at Euro 2016, making errors in the games against Wales and Iceland as England crashed out in the round of 16.
New England boss Sam Allardyce looks set to stick with Hart as his No. 1, but said it was important that he was playing first-team football regularly.
Hart’s only appearance for City this season came in the 1-0 Champions League playoff second-leg win against Steaua Bucharest, which was seen as a farewell appearance with Guardiola’s side leading 5-0 from the first game.
The keeper waved and blew kisses to fans at the final whistle in what could be his final match for the club.
Hart is not expected to be the last City player to move before the transfer window closes, with Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony and Samir Nasri all expected to leave with Guardiola needing to cut his squad to match Premier League and Champions League quotas for non-homegrown players.