Guardiola wants Sociedad goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli, City may be able get him for free. [AS]

Pep Guardiola has reportedly decided the goalkeeper he wants to challenge Joe Hart at Manchester City. According to Diario AS, the impressive Gerónimo Rulli, currently plying his trade at Real Sociedad, could soon be on his way to the Etihad Stadium.

The Spanish newspaper reports that Pep’s initial idea was to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, but 23-year-old Rulli has impressed the Catalan coach hugely this season. His recent performance against Barcelona, in which he kept a clean sheet and made some incredible saves, was stunning.

Besides having great reflexes and remarkable agility, Guardiola appreciates how comfortable the Argentine goalkeeper is the ball at his feet, a required feature of his goalkeepers.

Rulli is not owned by Real Sociedad and is in fact registered to a third-party investment fund with links to Manchester City. As such, AS believe City may be able to sign Rulli at no cost because they have a ‘major stake’ in that fund. These rumours surfaced last summer when Rulli was previously linked with City, but instead he returned to La Real for a second season.

Should this deal materialise, Rulli will not replace Joe Hart, but Willy Caballero who is set to exit the Etihad. Being a tall and talented goalkeeper with most of the features Pep Guardiola loves in a shot-stopper, Rulli could provide fierce competition for England’s number one.

Check out Rulli’s recent goalkeeping masterclass against Barcelona:

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