England goalkeeper Joe Hart has joined West Ham United on a season-long loan from Premier League rivals Manchester City, the London club announced on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old played for Torino in Italy’s Serie A last season on loan.
“It’s important for me to play football, and to get the opportunity to come here and play is absolutely awesome,” he told West Ham TV.
“To be playing in the Premier League for a big club like West Ham, I’m really looking forward to the season,” added the player, who will be reunited with former City fullback Pablo Zabaleta at the Hammers.
Hart won the Premier League twice with Manchester City, and has been capped 71 times by England, but fell out of favour after Pep Guardiola took over as manager.
Although he will not play against City in the league, Hart could face his parent club as soon as Aug 4 in a pre-season friendly match in Iceland.
West Ham’s season starts against Manchester United at Old Trafford nine days later.
“I’ve obviously left Manchester City on loan this season, but the club as a whole, especially the supporters, have always been fantastic to me,” said Hart. “I’d never change how I feel about that club, as it’ll always be a very special club to me.
“It’ll be fun to play against them because I’ll be banned when it comes to the actual season, while I’m sure Manchester United will welcome me with open arms if I get the nod and start the season away at Old Trafford.”
Media reports have indicated that City will pay part of Hart’s wages under the deal.
West Ham finished last season in 11th place under Croatian manager Slaven Bilic.