Guardi­ola rub­bishes Clau­dio Bravo ru­mours

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Pep Guardi­ola made clear yesterday his be­lief Chilean goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo is happy at Manch­ester City, amid re­ports the goal­keeper could be on his way back to Spain. The 33-year-old, Chile’s most­capped player who skip­pered them to two suc­ces­sive Copa Amer­ica ti­tles, left Barcelona to join City for £17m ($22 mil­lion, 19 mil­lion eu­ros) in Au­gust as Guardi­ola wanted a new first choice to re­place Eng­land num­ber one Joe Hart.

Bravo has not had the eas­i­est start to life in Manch­ester-he was sent off on his re­turn to the Camp Nou in the Cham­pi­ons League in Oc­to­ber, and has kept just two clean sheets in his last 14 games.

There have been re­ports the keeper has told his team-mates he wants to re­join Barcelona, even though that would mean him be­ing back up to Marc-An­dre ter Ste­gen.

Guardi­ola, though, is adamant Bravo is happy in Eng­land. “I didn’t read that. Some­times, when you (jour­nal­ists) come here, Si­mon (Heg­gie, City’s head of me­dia re­la­tions) will make a brief­ing as to what you are go­ing to ask me,” said Guardi­ola. “But he didn’t speak about that is­sue. “I don’t read too much of news­pa­pers, of the Twit­ters and In­sta­grams and Face­books.

“I spoke with Bravo in the last days, and with his wife as well.

“I saw him here.”Their lit­tle daugh­ter as well, but I couldn’t speak with her be­cause she is just one year old. “And he told me he is so happy.”


Guardi­ola has seen his side drop to fourth place af­ter a strong start that saw them win their first six Premier League games. But they got back on track by beat­ing Wat­ford 2-0 on Wed­nes­day, giv­ing the squad a lift as they pre­pare for Sun­day’s meet­ing with third-placed Ar­se­nal. How­ever, Guardi­ola will have to do with­out Ger­man mid­fielder Ilkay Gun­do­gan. The 26-year-old, who joined from Borus­sia Dort­mund in June for a re­ported fee of £20 mil­lion ($25.1 mil­lion, 23.8 mil­lion eu­ros), was forced off with a knee in­jury dur­ing that game, and Guardi­ola ad­mit­ted he faces a long ab­sence. “It’s so, so dif­fi­cult for him,” said Guardi­ola.

“We are sad for him. We are go­ing to miss him a lot. A lot. But it’s what it is. He’s un­lucky, some­times foot­ball is like this.” In his short time in Eng­land, Guardi­ola has al­ready faced crit­i­cism for lack­ing prag­ma­tism, an ac­cu­sa­tion also lev­elled fre­quently at his Ar­se­nal coun­ter­part Arsene Wenger.

Guardi­ola is full of re­spect for the way in which Wenger has pur­sued an at­trac­tive style of play dur­ing his 20 years in North Lon­don. “Call him the com­man­der-in-chief,” Guardi­ola said.

“He’s the boss, no? He’s the chief for Ar­se­nal.

“That’s why I call him that. I’m the com­man­der-in-chief for Manch­ester City. I saw many Net­flix se­ries and that’s why. Com­man­der-in-chief and colonel, I use a lot.

“He has been here a long time. When that hap­pens at a club such as Ar­se­nal, it’s be­cause a per­son is do­ing a good job.

“I un­der­stand it’s not easy to win the Premier League, but I have a lot of re­spect about his ca­reer.

“I’ve said many times that I ad­mire the way he tries to play and es­pe­cially the qual­ity of the play­ers they like and they buy.” — AFP

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