World Cup 2018: Joe Hart left out of England’s 23-man squad

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Joe Hart has been left out of England’s World Cup 2018 squad.

Gareth Southgate informed the on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper on Monday that he would not be included in his 23-man group for Russia.

Hart had been hoping to go to the tournament as back-up to first choices Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland but that role appears set to be handed to Nick Pope after a fine season for Burnley.

The 31-year-old started West Ham’s 4-1 defeat to Arsenal in April but lost his place to Adrian for the remaining four games of the season and it is understood this was ultimately key in Southgate’s decision not to include him.

Hart won the last of his 75 caps against Brazil in November and has been to three major tournaments with the Three Lions.

It is a bold – and no doubt difficult – call, but Southgate said in March that he was being “really straight with him throughout” the selection process.

“Joe’s professionalism has been brilliant with us,” the England boss said after the March friendlies. “He’s always performed well for us. We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying.

“This week, even though he knew he wasn’t going to be involved in the games, he’s been a positive influence on the other players.”

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Southgate has made the decision to not include Hart in his squad for Russia (Getty)

He has not played for City since Pep Guardiola arrived and looks set to leave the Etihad this summer where he has only a year remaining on his deal.

Alfie Mawson is another set to miss out with the Swansea defender having now undergone surgery on his knee following the culmination of Swansea’s Premier League campaign.

Southgate will name his squad officially on Wednesday afternoon.

 

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