Bravo may leave for City

There are media reports that Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo may leave for Manchester City in the days to come.


Pep Guardiola has already informed Joe Hart that he no longer forms part of his plan and that he is looking for another goalkeeper to replace him. Indeed Guardiola has not selected Hart for the first two games of the season, and the player is thought to be looking for another club.

In the meantime, Barcelona has admitted that Manchester City is interested in their goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and that it is highly possible that the player makes the switch before the end of the transfer window. Bravo played in the match against Sevilla which Barcelona won 3-0 and left the pitch in tears. He made a great display in the game where he saved a penalty.

Claudio Bravo will be reconnecting with his former coach Pep Guardiola who managed Barcelona before moving to Bayern Munich. Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has admitted that Manchester City is interested in the player and that it is highly possible that the player makes the move by the end of the week. It is reported that Barcelona are looking to sign Diego Alves from Valencia as a replacement for Claudio Bravo.
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PEP WILL FIND IT DIFFICULT

The Chelsea legend Ruud Gullit has said that it will be extremely difficult for the former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola to once again be successful in a similar manner at Chelsea. The former Barcelona manager is currently out of the football management on a one-year sabbatical. He is expected to return to football management at the start of the season, with no shortage of clubs interested in him. Chelsea are one of the clubs who have shown tremendous interest to hire the man, who has been responsible for making Barcelona one of the best teams in the world.

He has managed to win three la Liga titles consecutively, while also getting the club to success in the European competitions twice in the last four seasons. This unparalleled success has led him to be the first choice for the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. However, he was unavailable at the start of the season and the job was handed on a permanent basis to Roberto di Matteo. He was sacked recently and the former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has been appointed in his place. It is widely thought that Guardiola will come to Stamford Bridge in the summer. However, Ruud Gullit thinks that replicating the achievements of Barcelona at Chelsea will be difficult due to the nature of the league.

“I think what Pep [Guardiola] did with Barcelona is difficult to repeat. Also because he had the players there. You cannot do the same thing twice, especially not in another culture. I remember with other cultures, they try because they think they have a formula, and it doesn’t apply everywhere. No, it doesn’t. Abramovich [has done] a great job at Chelsea. Development, new training ground, trophies, he also brought them trophies,” said Ruud Gullit. Guardiola is reportedly offered £ 15 million per year to manage Chelsea.

GUARDIOLA DEFENDS ALVES

Pep Guardiola has leapt to the defence of Barca’s right back, Dani Alves after the Brazilian was sent off if Guardiola’s final league match as Barca boss. Alves was sent off for a second half foul on Jefferson Montero and has been roundly criticised since, but Guardiola has defended him, declaring that he is and “irreplaceable player”.

Barca struggled after Alves’ sending off and it took a last minute goal from Seydou Keita to snatch an equaliser for last season’s champions.

Guardiola took the time in his last league post match press conference to hail the Brazilian and stifle any talk of a transfer away from the Nou Camp.

“Alves exit rumours? It’s not up to me anymore, but for me he is irreplaceable.”

AC Milan are amongst a host of clubs keen to take advantage if Alves does become available this summer but it is clear that if it were Guardiola’s decision Alves would be staying precisely where he is.

Guardiola accepted that it was a foolish mistake and a side of his game which Alves must work upon in the future but he emphasised that the player’s class at the top level made him well worth sticking by. He was keen to press the point that Barca would be hard pressed to find a replacement for Alves should he leave, and realistically that has got to be the basis for deciding if a player stays or goes.

Guardiola finished his La Liga press conference dismissing talk that the division would be a worse one without him. “La Liga existed before me and will exist after me, and I have no idea(what I will do), I cannt answer that now”.

Guardiola and Barca will part permanently on May 25 when they take on Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey Final. They will be hoping to go out on a high and add one more trophy to the impressive collection they have achieved together.

GUARDIOLA PLAYS DOWN RUMOURS

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has laughed off suggestions that he is one of the favourites to take over at Chelsea come the summer.

Chelsea recently sacked their Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas after just 257 days, which has drew mixed opinions from media and fans. This is the seventh manager in just seven seasons for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. Many have been calling for patience within football, but it seems to be an attribute Roman Abramovich desperately needs at this moment.

Barcelona manager Guardiola and Real Madrid manager José Mourinho are the favourites to take over, while former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has expressed his interest in taking over if offered a position.

Barcelona manager Guardiola, though, has laughed off the suggestions that he would be interested in the Chelsea job by saying sarcastically that he is in regular contact with Chelsea. Guardiola’s contract with Barcelona comes to an end at the end of the season. He is a manager who signs only one year extensions to his contract.

It has been no different this time around as well, but so far, he is yet to sign an extension for next season. There have been reports that Guardiola is looking for a new challenge in management.

“I think he is a fantastic coach but we all know that in this business everything depends on results and not on our own capacity as a coach. Time is not something you get, but when you do this job you know that. I can’t comment any more because I don’t know the situation at Chelsea, but the results never came,” said Guardiola when speaking about the possibility of taking over at Chelsea and also about his inspirations.

Guardiola praised the late Sir Bobby Robson by saying that he is a huge influence on his managerial career.

GUARDIOLA: WE CAN DO MORE

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has said that he is not being carried away by the current success that the team is enjoying. Guardiola has been the best manager over the last few years, while Barcelona have undoubtedly been the best team in one of the world.

It is something that has been aptly reflected by their second Champions League title in two years and second Club World Cup title in the same time as well. However, the former Barcelona midfielder has said that he is very much aware of the fact that football is a very fickle business and that things can change very quickly.

Guardiola has put an emphasis on young players after he took over in 2008. It is a philosophy that has been rewarded quite brilliantly with hat-trick of la Liga titles and two Champions League titles. Perhaps, the most successful year Guardiola has had at Barcelona was in his initial year. It has been followed up with successful, but not in the same league, years. Now, there have been many suggestions that Barcelona should have parted ways with Guardiola at the end of the third year because it is usually the time frame when the performance starts to slip away from the players.

“In football a team’s success or failure hangs by a thread. It might seem that because we’ve been successful in the past and we’re very young this is going to last, but you have to take things very carefully. It’s extremely difficult to build something good and strong, but letting it slide is much easier,” Guardiola told FIFA’s official website in the awards ceremony, in which Lionel Messi was crowned as the Ballon d’Or winner for the third time. Barcelona have already lifted two major trophies this season and are in contention for three others as well.