Gossip: Why West Ham think they can land Buffon as departing Hart is offered a Premier League lifeline

On the move: Goalkeeper Joe Hart

Joe Hart must feel like nobody wants to be his friend at the moment as he wanders lonely as a cloud through the football wilderness.

But there is still one place he can go. It’s not the World Cup, or the Champions League, or even the Europa League – those days are gone, sadly – but there is somewhere a downtrodden goalkeeper can find comfort when nobody else wants him. A special place free from judgment, pretension and other scourges of the modern world – it is Wolverhampton.

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The Mirror reports that Hart will be offered a “Premier League lifeline” by newly promoted Wolves as he surveys his dwindling options for a third loan season away from his parent club Manchester City.

Southampton are also said to be considering a move for England’s former number one as they seek a replacement for Fraser Forster, who has fallen even further down the national side’s pecking order than Hart.

Rather than wowing these prospective new employers with his wealth of top-level experience, Hart is apparently being targeted mainly because he is a “cheap option”. The goalie has one year left on his Etihad deal, but there is a good chance will City will subsidise a large chunk of his wages if they can guarantee getting him out of Guardiola’s sight forever.

‘Hammers fan’ Buffon could move to London Stadium

End of the road? Gianluigi Buffon

West Ham’s harrowing experience with a highly decorated international keeper hasn’t put them off signing another one though, as the Hammers have reportedly switched their sights to signing Gianluigi Buffon.

The Express says the Italy and Juventus legend is a massive Irons fans, having written about his admiration for the club’s supporters in his autobiography. (He would have been with them on the pitch at that Burnley game if he didn’t have a match against Udinese the next day.)

Buffon apparently wants two weeks to “talk to his family and make a decision”, although it might take longer than that to persuade them to move en masse to West Ham.

In another Hammers connection, departed gaffer David Moyes is being lined up as the next manager of Stoke, according to the Sun.

The Potters dispensed with the services of Paul Lambert yesterday after he led the club to relegation, but they’ve got the taste for having a dour Scot in charge and reportedly see Moyes as the “ideal man” to lead them back to the big time.

Elsewhere, Liverpool are set to pip Everton to the signing of Ajax’s 25-year-old Moroccan midfidelder Hakim Ziyech (Mirror), Southampton are planning a £20m bid for Middlesbrough’s English defender Ben Gibson (Sun) and Leicester want to sign West Brom’s Jonny Evans but the £4m fee demanded by his agent is proving to be a “sticking point” (Mail). Hardly surprising when it’s more money than the £3m transfer fee the Baggies will receive.