By Yusuf Ali
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola continues to publicly back under-fire goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
The Chilean, 33, has endured a number of disappointing performances so far this season. His struggles have prompted City fans to question Guardiola’s decision to axe and then loan out Joe Hart.
With Bravo not adjusting well to the Premier League, many feel City will have no choice but to look elsewhere this summer. But who might be on their radar?
Guardiola previously showed his interest in the Benfica stopper when City failed to land him with a £19m bid.
It’s not hard to see why they wanted the Brazilian, who has already won the Portuguese title and is rated highly by many European football pundits.
He recently signed a new contract but it is believed to include a release clause of around £30m.
With Real Madrid, Barcelona and Arsenal also in the hunt for ‘Ederson’, City may have to move swiftly to secure him.
Perhaps City would do well to look again at a keeper they decided to let go.
They signed Rulli for £4m last summer but then sent him on loan back to Real Sociedad. He’d already spent two years at the Spanish club on loan from Uruguyan side Deportivo Maldonado.
City allowed him to join Sociedad on a permanent basis in January, but they have a £13m buy-back agreement in place.
Rulli has said: “Manchester City is one of the biggest clubs in Europe, in the entire world, and it’s a league in which I’d like to play
“A move to the Premier League will appeal to most players and I have my sights on achieving that goal.”
Wildcard: Joe Hart
It seems unlikely, but could the England No.1 return to reclaim his spot at the Etihad Stadium?
Let’s not forget he is still on the books, having been loaned in the summer to Serie A side Torino.
No other club came in for him in the January window, but both Arsenal and Liverpool are reported to be interested.
Could Guardiola ever swallow his pride and admit he was wrong to cast out Hart, 29, who’s been at City since 2006?
Probably not, but the fans would certainly welcome him back.