BARCELONA

Barcelona aware of Guardiola's interest in Claudio Bravo

The club know full well how highly the soon-to-be Manchester City manager rates the Chilean shot-stopper, whose contract contains a €40 million buyout clause.

Barcelona aware of Guardiola's interest in Claudio Bravo
LLUIS GENE AFP

In the midst of all yesterday’s transfer-deadline hubbub Manchester City officially announced the appointment of Pep Guardiola as the Sky Blues new manager. When speculation broke out about the enigmatic Catalan taking over from Manuel Pellegrini it was met with incredulity at the Camp Nou, but with the rumour now a reality a chill may well be making its way up the spine of the Barcelona hierarchy. The club’s board have been warned about the ex-manager’s interest in signing Claudio Bravo. Backing during his days in charge of Los Blaugrana, Guardiola instructed his scouts and coaches to keep a close eye on the Chilean international’s progress at Real Sociedad.

Bravo, a La Liga veteran with vast experience and plenty of hunger to keep competing at the highest level left in his belly, would surely be tempted to consider a move to the Premier League where he could possibly win himself a Champions League medal: despite Barca scooping last season’s title, it was Ter Stegen who defended the team between the sticks, not the South American. Bravo, who moved to Barcelona in summer 2014 on the instruction of Juan Carlos Unzué (who is now Luis Enrique’s right-hand man), has one attribute in his locker that sets him apart from other players in his position: his ability to play the ball with his feet. Since joining the Camp Nou outfit he has refined this skill -- something Guardiola views as a prerequisite for any keeper -- and proven himself to be one of the world’s most reliable pair of hands. His current contract contains a €40 million buyout clause, pocket change for a club like City who will be handing Guardiola the keys to the war chest this summer.