Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City's Joe Hart delighted to extend stay at the Etihad

By Andy Hampson

Joe Hart has committed his future to Manchester City by signing a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2019.

The England goalkeeper becomes the latest City player to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium, following the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Aleksandar Kolarov, Samir Nasri and David Silva.

The 27-year-old revealed: "I'm really happy, I've been here a long time now and I want to keep that going."

Hart, a former Shrewsbury trainee, joined City in a £600,000 deal in 2006.

He made his breakthrough as a senior player during a loan spell at Birmingham in 2009-10 and returned to City to supplant Shay Given as first choice the following season.

He has since helped City win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.

Hart said: "The new deal means I get to stay longer - the club's doing amazing things at the moment, we've created history and we want to keep doing that.

"Wanting to stay here was never going to be an issue for me - I've loved every moment since I joined. The club's growing and I've been really lucky to be part of the ride.

"I just want to keep winning with the team and keep developing. A lot of the boys have signed long-term deals, so we're building as a squad and I think that quite a few of us have been here for a long time now.

"We're enjoying building that winning mentality, how the club is growing around us and how we need to grow along with it."

Confirmation of Hart's deal had been expected since manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed an agreement was close a fortnight ago.

Pellegrini is confident England midfielder James Milner will soon follow Hart in committing to the champions.

Asked if he expected Milner to stay, Pellegrini said at a press conference: "I think so. There are some differences that can be arranged."

Pellegrini's most immediate concern is overcoming the absence of his captain Vincent Kompany and all three of his frontline strikers for the visit of Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League today.

Kompany suffered a recurrence of a hamstring injury in his comeback match at Leicester last week while Dzeko hurt his calf in the warm-up. Aguero and Stevan Jovetic were already sidelined.

The lack of forward options could mean another opportunity for 18-year-old Jose Angel Pozo or a change of system to utilise a midfielder such as Milner, Silva or Nasri in an advanced position.

Pellegrini said: "The strikers, the three of them are out of the game. We will try to play in another way.

"I know that we play against a team that defend very well also so we will see what is the best solution to play without them."

Victory for City by four goals or more would take them to the top of the table.

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