“Both are excellent goalkeepers. I want to reassure all Catalans and tell them neither Claudio Bravo or Ter Stegen will leave.”
These were the recent words of Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who wants to keep two high-level goalkeepers on the books at Barcelona. It may not be that simple, however, and City are aware of this according to AS.
City were strongly linked with Ter Stegen earlier this summer, and the Telegraph went as far as to claim advanced talks were taking place. That link died off when the Germany keeper said he was happy to stay in Barcelona and all indications since have been that he won’t change clubs.
City have been linked with numerous goalkeepers since, including Víctor Valdés, but the most recent name to surface has been Ter Stegen’s competition at Barcelona, Claudio Bravo.
Bravo has been Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper in La Liga, with Ter Stegen limited to cup games, but these are two exceptional players and neither is happy to rotate, claims AS. The Spanish newspaper believes one of them could leave in order to keep the other happy, and at the age of 33, it could be Bravo. Though 33 is not particularly old for a goalkeeper, especially one as athletic as Bravo, Ter Stegen is only 24 and Barcelona may see him as the one to retain should they be forced into a decision.
City’s interest in Bravo is reported to be very serious and AS believe a bid is en route from the Etihad. The question must be asked, what would be different for Bravo if he moved to the Etihad? Instead of competing with Ter Stegen, he’d be up against England’s number one, Joe Hart. AS claim Guardiola is ‘not happy’ with Joe Hart, but it is difficult to envisage the fan favourite leaving this summer.
If Bravo, a goalkeeper who is almost perfect for the Pep Guardiola philosophy, was to arrive this summer, would it be with the guarantee of a starting position? And if so, what would it mean for Joe Hart?