Claudio Bravo is not going to start for Manchester City this weekend, with Pep Guardiola confirming the goalkeeper is not yet ready to play.
The Chile international completed a move from Barcelona to City this week for a fee reported to be roughly £15.4 million, and was expected to be installed immediately as Guardiola’s new number one.
But the Catalonian manager, who has so far preferred Willy Caballero to Joe Hart in the Premier League, does not think the 33-year-old is ready for action on Sunday.
It is therefore likely Caballero will play, even though England international Hart returned for Wednesday’s Champions League play-off victory over Steaua Bucharest.
Guardiola said of Bravo: “He’s fit but he’s not going to play this weekend.”
Despite Bravo missing the chance of making his debut days after arriving at the Etihad, Guardiola is confident his new man will be a good player for the title competitors.
The Spaniard said at a press conference: “He’s a goalkeeper with a lot of experience in Spain and with the [Chile] national team. His experience, to anticipate situations not in the box and in front of the box, being good in the build-up plays and quick under the posts – he is a good player for us.”
Bravo’s arrival has thrown Hart’s future at the club into doubt. The 29-year-old could find himself third choice if he opts to stay at City beyond next week’s transfer deadline.
Guardiola has said he can move if he wishes but Everton, the club most strongly linked with him, have said they have no interest. Sevilla’s reported enthusiasm has also cooled, leaving Hart – who could fear for his England place – with few apparent options.
Guardiola said: “We want the best for him and of course the club is going to help him get the best solution for him. If the transfer window is closed and he is here, he has to stay here, he will be treated like another one. I will try to be fair with him.”
Following Bravo’s signing, City have now spent close to £170million on new players this summer and Guardiola has ruled out any further additions.
“No chance,” he said. “It’s enough. I’m so happy with the squad and the team.”