Celtic star Joe Hart was a leader at Manchester City


MANUEL PELLEGRINI reckons Joe Hart is the perfect man to take on the Celtic armband tomorrow night.

The Betis boss won the Premier League and League Cup with Hart as No 1 at Manchester City.


Joe Hart has settled in to life at CelticCredit: Reuters
Hart worked with Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City


Hart worked with Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester CityCredit: AFP

The Chilean also DROPPED the England keeper after a string of gaffes in 2013.

It was Hart’s reaction to being axed that showed the veteran boss he was made of the right stuff.

He said: “Joe is a leader, the career he has had allows him to be in that position.

“I have a lot of good memories of working with Joe. At that stage he was the No 1 keeper in England and also in the national squad.

“We were together for three years and won the title and the league cup.

“But there were also some moments when, for different reasons, Joe had to go to the bench, as there were performances I was not happy with.

“But even when he was on the bench he would still work for the team, keep talking to the keeper who replaced him to try and help them improve and improve himself.

“And that showed me why he was number one in England for so long. I was very happy and fortunate to work with him in Manchester City.

“We know Celtic are a very good team with a lot of good players, starting with Joe.

“We have a lot of respect for Celtic, they have many good players.”

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Pellegrini is also a big admirer of Hoops striker Albian Ajeti having signed him for West Ham.

The Hammers paid £8million to sign the Swiss star from Basel in August 2019.

The 24-year-old moved on to the Hoops last year when Pellegrini left and David Moyes took over.

But the Betis boss is wary of the threat he could pose his side at the Benito Villamarin Stadium.

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He said: “We brought him from Switzerland to West Ham and at that point he was a young striker with a big future.

“Now he has the opportunity to demonstrate his talent at Celtic and also with the national squad with Switzerland.

“He is a striker we must be very aware of.”

Meanwhile, both Celtic and Real Betis have been told by UEFA that they are not allowed to play in their traditional green and white colours in tomorrow night’s fixture.

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