Manchester_City

Manchester City sign Chile goalkeeper from FC Barcelona

Abuja –  Manchester City FC have signed goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from FC Barcelona of Spain for 18 million euros (about £15.4 million).

The Spanish club has however indicated that the fee for the 33-year-old Chile international could rise with £1.7m of add-ons.

Bravo, who has signed a four-year contract, is expected to start ahead of England goalkeeper Joe Hart and Argentine Willy Caballero.

FC Barcelona have already replaced Bravo with Netherlands international Jasper Cillessen, who joins from Ajax.

“I’m very proud to be joining Manchester City.

“I know the club is building something very special and I hope I can be part of many successes in the coming years,’’ Bravo said.

Bravo joined FC Barcelona in 2014 and won two La Liga titles and the FIFA Club World Cup.

He was also part of the UEFA Champions League-winning squad in 2015, but never played in the competition for Barca.

“It is not easy to leave a club like Barcelona where I had two fantastic years, but the opportunity to work with Pep Guardiola was too good to refuse,” he added.

Guardiola, who became City manager in the summer, said: “Claudio is a fantastic goalkeeper and an excellent addition to our squad.

“He has experience and great leadership qualities and is in the prime of his life. He is a goalkeeper I have admired for a number of years and I’m really happy he is now a City player.’’

Guardiola has signed Bravo as he has major reservations about Hart’s ability to play as the kind of “sweeper-keeper’’ his preferred system demands.

Hart, 29, was dropped by Guardiola for the first three games of the season but was made captain for their Champions League play-off win against Steaua Bucharest.

He kept a clean sheet in his first start of the season.

It was expected Hart would leave the club before the transfer window closes on Wednesday, but an immediate transfer is no longer certain.

He does not want to move to Sevilla or Borussia Dortmund, both of whom are reported to be interested in signing him.

Everton seemed a potential destination late last week but manager Ronald Koeman has said he has “no interest’’ in signing Hart.

England manager Sam Allardyce has said Hart’s situation is “a concern’’ but that he would pick the player in his squad for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Sept. 4.(NAN)

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