Stoke boss Mark Hughes does not believe Joe Hart has a problem with passing.
Guardiola is understood to harbour doubts about Hart’s ability with the ball at his feet and has preferred Willy Caballero ahead of the England number one for his first two games in charge of City.
But question marks over Hart’s distribution qualities have surprised his former City boss Hughes, who comes up against his old club this weekend.
“Just from having worked with Joe myself, I never thought that distribution was one of his weaknesses but it’s all about opinions,” said Hughes.
“It’s an important factor but you have to keep the ball out of the net as well. That’s quite important when you’re talking about the goalkeeper position.
“It’s an aspect of modern football now. Ideally you would like a goalkeeper who’s comfortable with the ball at their feet because they instigate attacking moves right from the beginning.
“We’re fortunate in regard to ourselves that we’ve got one in terms of Jack (Butland), who’s exceptionally good in that respect, and Shay (Given) is very good. We’re well served in that respect.”
The outspoken Joey Barton had called the treatment of Hart from his old team “disgusting” on talkSPORT earlier this week, though Hughes refrained from opining further on the matter.
“I don’t really want to debate other people’s situations at their club,” he said.
“It’s a situation that maybe has been ongoing not just for the last couple of weeks with the new season starting. It seems to me, looking from the outside, that the decision was made a long time ago.
“They’ve known for quite some time that Pep Guardiola is coming to the club so I’m sure they’ve had discussions on all aspects of their team moving forward.”