Pep Guardiola: Claudio Bravo will prove himself

Pep Guardiola has no doubt goalkeeper Claudio Bravo can establish himself in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola: Claudio Bravo will prove himself

The Chilean has had a mixed start at Manchester City since England number one Joe Hart was surprisingly jettisoned by manager Guardiola earlier in the season.

Bravo, signed from Barcelona to replace Hart in August, was brought in on the basis of his superior footwork but some other areas of his goalkeeping have attracted criticism.

This was further fuelled — although City claimed there was a foul — as the 33-year-old missed a cross prior to a Burnley goal at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.

Guardiola, whose City side travel to West Ham in the FA Cup tonight, says Bravo does not need other people to tell him how to do his job and is confident he will settle.

Guardiola said: “He’s intelligent enough, he has experience enough, he was nominated one of the five best keepers in the world.

“He has experience in Europe, all around the world, in South America, where the intensity of the games is so tough there.

“He realised immediately with these sort of balls into the box he had to be careful. He realises himself.

“It’s not necessary to read the newspapers or the comments of the coach saying: ‘Go there, be careful here, it’s quite different’.”

Guardiola claims Bravo is being unfairly singled out when people mention he needs to adapt to the English game.

He said: “He has to adapt but all the goalkeepers, central defenders, full-backs and strikers do. I know people are focused on Claudio but why does Claudio need to adapt and others don’t?

“I see many goalkeepers who had the same problems as Claudio with these balls and when they fight for them. It’s not only Claudio Bravo in this way.”

Meanwhile, West Ham appear to have hinted they have made a £20m (€23.4m) offer for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele. An article on the Hammers’ official website stated that “a bid of £20m (€23.4m) — a figure close to the club’s all-time transfer record — was submitted for a player from Scotland”.

However, a Celtic Park source claims they have received no official bid for Dembele.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic earlier refused to comment on reports Dembele was one of his main January targets, but he had discussed his interest in Brentford striker Scott Hogan and Sunderland forward Jermaine Defoe moments earlier at a media conference.

The website article, a regular feature called “The Insider”, added that an £8m (€9.3m) bid had been made for a Championship player and a £6m (€7m) offer was issued for a Premier League player.

The so-called opinion piece comes with a qualification that the views are not necessarily those of the club but the Hammers appear to be serious about tempting Celtic to part with their prized asset.

Dembele has scored 19 goals in 36 games since arriving from Fulham in a four-year deal in the summer for a development fee of about £500,000 (€585,000).

Dembele has also shown his potential to a wider audience outside of Scotland this season, hitting a spectacular double for France U21s against England and scoring three times in the Champions League group stages.

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