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For Hart, West Ham is where his heart is as he returns to Premier League

Joe Hart

He has been tagged as an outcast at Manchester City.

But there is still a place to go to for Joe Hart, a place where he is welcome hopefully with open arms.

And that home is none other than West Ham United.

On Tuesday, the England goalkeeper linked up with the Hammers on a season-long loan from City.

Previously, Hart was told by City boss Pep Guardiola that he has the freedom to find another squad.

So after playing for a season with Serie A club Torino, the 30-year-old Hart told City he wants West ham as his next destination.

His wish was granted.

City facilitated the move. Under the deal, there is no option to buy and should the Hammers want Hart’s services next summer, they must bid for him just like other teams do.

Hart’s salary will also be shouldered by City, while West Ham are paying the loan fee, said to be to the tune of £4.5 million.

“It’s important for me to play football and to get the opportunity to come here and play is absolutely awesome,’’ an elated Hart told West Ham TV.

He added he is looking forward to the next season playing for a big club like West Ham, who also snared Hart’s long-time City teammate, right-back Pablo Zabaleta, on a free transfer.

The battle-tested shot-stopper joined City from Shrewsbury Town in 2006. He is under contract with City until 2019 but he has fallen drastically out of first-team status ever since Guardiola took the reins at the Etihad Stadium.

Hart became a fan favourite at Torino last season but could not weave any magic for the team.

Despite that, he called his stint at the Turin club as a “fun year.’’

On the England side of things though, Hart, who is capped 71 times, kept his position as first-choice goalkeeper under Gareth Southgate.

There may be upcoming challenges to test Hart’s resolve as he wears the West Ham colours and stays put as the Three Lions’ chief goalkeeper.

He has been to those kind of trials before and luckily for him, has overcome them just like punching away or preventing opponents’ shots with the dexterity of a maestro.

So if you will ask Hart if he dilly-dallied in opting to be a West Ham player, he’ll look at you straight in the eye and say: “It was not a hard decision.’’