Of all the Manchester City transfer rumours of late, the goalkeeper situation has caused the most confusion. No less than three ‘keepers have been reported as close to joining Pep Guardiola’s team, despite Joe Hart and Willy Caballero still being on the books.
Gerónimo Rulli appears to be as good as signed, in one of the most confusing deals of the summer, which will see him go out on loan to Real Sociedad, then join them permanently, with City having a buy-back clause.
Meanwhile, depending on which media source you believe, Barcelona goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc-André ter Stegen have both been close to a move to City. In recent days, Ter Stegen has reportedly been told by Barcelona that he will be first-choice in every competition, which would mean he is most certainly going nowhere.
That leaves 33-year-old Bravo, who for the past two seasons has been Barcelona’s primary goalkeeper with 72 appearances. The English media is insisting, probably from a club source, that Manchester City have NO interest in the Chilean and will not pursue a deal.
In Spain, they disagree. Two articles today from quite reputable newspapers believe Bravo is in City’s plans.
Mundo Deportivo says both City and Barcelona have asked the same of Bravo – to request a move in order for it to happen. Barca don’t want to sell him, but will budge if he asks. City want him to force the move, to avoid paying an excessive fee. City are maintaining contacts with Bravo’s agent, Cristian Ogalde, according to the report, but ‘are in no rush’ and will only make an approach when he makes it clear he wants a switch to the Etihad.
The renowned Kike Marin of El Confidencial states that sources close to City assume that Bravo will be replacing Joe Hart between the sticks. Bravo would be reunited with Xabier Mancisidor, the goalkeeping coach he worked with at Real Sociedad, were he to join City.
Speaking of Real Sociedad, Marin brings up Gerónimo Rulli and backs up the story that he is joining City, then will head to the Anoeta Stadium. Sociedad sporting director, Lorenzo Juarros, said on Thursday that the club is ‘100% sure’ Rulli will be playing there this coming season.
City’s plan, according to Marin, would be to sign Claudio Bravo now and then most likely use their buy-back option on Rulli in 2018 and have the Argentine step in as the new number one.
Guardiola believes an attack should start with the goalkeeper, and all of the names linked have good footwork. In England, there have been signals from the media that Joe Hart will retain his post as City’s number one, but the stories are very different in Spain. So, just who will be City’s number one next season?