Before he was a philosopher, journalist and author Albert Camus was a goalkeeper. He once observed that he had uncovered most of life’s truisms from playing football suggesting the utmost of these was that “I learned . . . that a ball never arrives from the direction that you expected it.”

The adage seems particularly relevant to goalkeepers, that most solitary of positions, one where contributions to goals rarely involve them in the collective effort and where those conceded are invariably the fault of one man.

Few know the transient nature of life between the posts better than Joe Hart. Once described by Lionel Messi as a phenomenon following a stellar performance in a Champions League tie against Barcelona in the Camp Nou in 2015, Hart’s decline has been rapid and alarming. Clue: he was last spotted warming the bench for Burnley.

The former England No.1 was a two-time league winner and had won the golden gloves award for most cleans in the Premier League by the time Euro 2016 came around. However, by the end of the tournament he was on his way out at Manchester City, unfancied by incoming new manager Pep Guardiola because of his perceived limitations with his footwork and had a black mark against his name in an England shirt due to the high-profile gaffe that led to his country’s exit in the round of 16 stage at the hands of Iceland.

Since then, it has been a steep descent for Hart. He spent a year on loan on Torino, where he started impressively before a series of errors prompted club president Urbano Cairo to remark: “We didn’t expect so many mistakes from an England international.”

Still under contract at City, he spent another year on loan at West Ham United, where he ended up deputising for Adrian, consigned to the role of practice goalkeeper when the first choice needed a break. Again, a blooper, this time against Stoke City when he spilled Xherdan’s Shaqiri’s shot out to Peter Crouch for the striker to score, was his undoing.

Now 33, Hart will leave Burnley next week with talk that Celtic are keen to bring him to Parkhead as a replacement for Craig Gordon - who yesterday returned to his first club Hearts - and Fraser Forster, a player who spent last season on loan at the champions and who they would like to sign but whose parent would like to sell. Any move for Forster is likely to be mothballed over finance with the former England squad player said to be on wages in the region of £70,000, according to spotrac. There is no way Celtic are getting near that with top earners at the club in the £25,000-£30,000 bracket.

Forster capped a memorable campaign during his return to Glasgow, most notably during the Europa League, and gave glimpses of the kind of form that persuaded Southampton to part with £10m for him in the first place. There are parallels with Hart here. Forster enjoyed a positive start to life in England’s top-flight at his new club, before he developed the yips and lost both his starting place and England squad status.

And so that returns us to Hart and whether he is damaged goods beyond repair. He has not played a league game since the 5-1 home defeat by Everton on Boxing Day 2018. That day, he flapped at a Lucas Digne free-kick turning it into his own net and was dropped by Sean Dyche in the aftermath, playing just three times, all cup games, since then. He had played just 19 Premier League games for Burnley until that point, conceding 41 goals in the process.

Like Forster, he too, has long since disappeared from the international arena, replaced in it by clubmates Nick Pope and Tom Heaton.

One would imagine that doubts over Hart’s mental fragility might be enough to put off interested parties but Arsenal are also suitors so, too, are his first club Shrewsbury Town. Perhaps Celtic have been heartened by the Forster experiment, working on the basis that Hart was perceived to be the better keeper during his best days.

They will also be aware that Hart speaks frequently to a sports psychologist and, for what it is worth given his poor form when given the chance, has repeatedly stated that his hunger for the game remains undiminished.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, he said: “I just want to be a big part of a club and give my all to them. That’s all that burns through me.”

He will have to take a significant pay cut from the reported £45,000 per week he was earning at Burnley but if he is serious about rebuilding his reputation, even if he is approaching his mid-30s, then he must hit the ground running. As others who have left the Premier League expecting an easy ride in Scotland have found to their cost, there is no hiding place should things start to go awry. Forster had the benefit of previous experience playing in Scotland and that was invaluable. Hart, with his history of howlers, will have no such luxury.