Manchester City are having no trouble beating opposition keepers at the moment, but it’s the two that they employ to guard their own net which are the root cause of manager Manuel Pellegrini’s main headache this season.
Constantly striving to learn who out of Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon he can trust, it seems the Chilean, who is 10/11 to win the league in his debut season, has finally made up his mind, with one of the gloved pair set to depart the Etihad this January after a string of error-strewn performances for the club.
Reports in Romania suggest 6ft 8in Pantilimon will be joining La Liga strugglers Real Betis this month, with the 16-cap international keen to flee the 2012/13 champions.
After Joe Hart’s blunder filled performances in the early part of the season, the Romanian was afforded a rare glimpse of Premier League football when debuting in the 7-0 massacre of Norwich.
That was the start of a seven-league-game stint between the sticks for 26-year-old, but the run ended with the thrilling 6-3 win over Arsenal at the Etihad in December.
Many opined that, bar a bemusing lack of confidence under the high ball given his height and a poor showing against West Brom, Pantilimon was unlucky to lose his place to the England number one, but he still wasn’t seen again until the recent cup outings against Blackburn and West Ham.
It was in the FA Cup draw with Rovers that Pellegrini must have decided enough was enough, as the lanky keeper was at fault for the Championship side’s equaliser.
It’s thought Betis will pay €500,00 for the stopper’s services with City, who are 125/1 to win an unprecedented quadruple this season, perhaps looking to nab German youngster Marc-Andre ter Stegen from under the noses of Barcelona.
The Borussia Monchengladbach keeper has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of his current deal and has long been lined up as Victor Valdes’ replacement at the Nou Camp, but City’s oodles of cash could tempt Gladbach into striking a better deal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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