Wednesday 26 September 2018

Bravo deal pushes Hart to City exit

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola talks to goalkeeper Joe Hart during a training session at the City Football Academy, Manchester yesterday. Photo: PA
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola talks to goalkeeper Joe Hart during a training session at the City Football Academy, Manchester yesterday. Photo: PA

Pep Guardiola has not denied that Claudio Bravo could be a Manchester City player in the coming days.

Barcelona recently revealed City have made an approach for the Chile international goalkeeper.

Speculation a deal could be imminent has now increased after Bravo was pictured at the airport in Barcelona reportedly preparing to board a flight to Manchester.

The City goalkeeping situation has been headline news in the early weeks of the season after new City boss Guardiola made the surprise decision to drop England number one Joe Hart.

Speaking at a press conference, Guardiola said: "I cannot deny what everybody knows. Barcelona were the first ones who announced contact with Manchester City but, sorry, the deal is not complete. After that I will be open to answer questions but in this moment he is not our player."

With Willy Caballero having so far been preferred to Hart, the arrival of 33-year-old Bravo could effectively relegate Hart to third choice.

The possibility of this has increased speculation Hart could seek to leave the Etihad Stadium, although reports have suggested Everton's apparent interest has cooled.

But until a time arises when Hart might move on, Guardiola insists the 29-year-old remains part of his squad and he could even play in tonight's Champions League play-off second leg against Steaua Bucharest.

The Spaniard said: "He has a chance to play tomorrow. I have said many times, he is a player of us.

"Until the 31st of this month, all the players here are our players and I work with them like there is no end.

"After we will speak. The situation with Joe I think I have spoken clearly about in the last two press conferences."

Asked if any approaches have been received for Hart, who has also been linked with Sevilla, Guardiola said: "I am not able to speak (about that) because I do not know what is going on."

Meanwhile, Guardiola has urged striker Sergio Aguero to help his side maintain pressure on opponents and not "disappear" when his side do not have possession of the ball.

The Argentine scored twice in City's 4-1 win against Stoke City on Saturday to take his season's tally to six goals in all competitions.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager said Aguero must help his team mates with his movements off the ball.

"It's not enough to receive the ball from his team mates, he has to help us in the first pressure and run a lot and help us a lot with movement," Guardiola said.


"You cannot be brilliant when you disappear when you (don't) have the ball. It's impossible."

City full-back Bacary Sagna has been ruled out of tonight's match, having missed last weekend's win at Stoke due to a knock. Captain Vincent Komany and new signings Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane are back in training but not yet match fit.

man city v Steaua Bucharest, live bt sport 2, tonight (ko 7.45)

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