The final piece of the puzzle seems to be in place for the Guardiola era at Manchester City, as the club have announced the signing of one of Pep Guardiola’s long time transfer targets this summer, Claudio Bravo.
The 33-year-old Chilean goalkeeper has signed a four-year contract with the Citizens, with the transfer fee to be paid to Barcelona believed to be in the region of £17 million. The Blaugrana confirmed the signing of Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen earlier in the day, a move which paved the way for Bravo to leave Camp Nou.
The new Man City player has stated that manager Pep Guardiola was a big factor in his decision to leave the La Liga Champions.
“It is not easy to leave a club like Barcelona where I had two fantastic years, but the opportunity to work with Pep Guardiola was too good to refuse,” Bravo said on his unveiling as a City player, according to the official club website.
The Catalan manager has attested to his own admiration for the Chilean, saying that he has been a fan for a long time.
“He has experience and great leadership qualities and is in the prime of his life. He is a goalkeeper I have admired for a number of years and I’m really happy he is now a City player.”
Claudio Bravo enjoyed a brief but trophy laden couple of seasons with Barcelona. He joined from Real Sociedad in 2014 as a direct replacement for Victor Valdes. The 33-year-old went on to win two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and the UEFA Champions League.
Bravo is also one of the most talented players in a Chile team that has dominated South American football off late. He has more than a 100 senior international caps under his belt, helping the Chile team to two successive Copa America titles in these past two years.
He is expected to become the number one keeper at City under Guardiola, with the Catalan manager relegating former No. 1 Joe Hart to the bench.Hart has been a mainstay in the City set-up for the past nine seasons, but his days at the club could be numbered.
The 29-year-old will have to move in order to secure first team football, and if he fails to do so, then his position in the England national team would be in jeopardy. Everton are interested in a possible deal, and it remains to be seen if the Englishman secures a move before the deadline day.