Hart set for second season at Blues

Hart set for second season at Blues

Published Feb. 17, 2010 2:30 p.m. ET

Birmingham City vice-chairman Peter Pannu says Manchester City have rejected their bid to sign Joe Hart but agreed to loan him again next term.

Hart has impressed during his time with Birmingham and has been a key factor in the club residing in the top half of the Premier League table following last season's promotion.

His displays have also prompted talk of a call-up to the England World Cup squad and Alex McLeish has expressed a desire to keep hold of the goalkeeper for next season.

Pannu has confirmed that Birmingham did make an enquiry about the possibility of signing the 22-year-old permanently, but that was quickly rejected.

However, Pannu claims the Champions League chasers are willing to let Hart spend a second campaign on loan in the Midlands.

"What has happened is that we have actually approached Manchester City with a view to buying him," Pannu told a fans' forum.

"But the difficulty is that we have recognised him as a fabulous goalie and Manchester City recognise that as well.

"So they very politely rejected our approach to them to purchase him. They have said they will let him stay here for another season on loan, but he is not for sale."

Pannu continued: "They appreciate the way Alex has built him up, he has got a very strong reputation in England. They appreciate that and will give us priority on the loan deal.

"He will be with us for another season, unless anything changes. That is the position."