Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised Joe Hart's professionalism amid reports linking the England goalkeeper with a move away from the club. Hart was left on the bench for City's opening game of the Premier League season against Sunderland and the Blues are known to be in the market to sign another goalkeeper.
Guardiola has been strongly linked with a move for Barcelona's number two Claudio Bravo. However, he has refused to be drawn on the speculation and has instead heaped praise on Hart.
"Since I am manager of Manchester City, from the time we were together with Joe, it was perfect – his behaviour, his training sessions, on the pitch, off the pitch. He is a big professional," the City boss said of Hart, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Willy Caballero started in goal for City during their 2-1 win against Sunderland on Saturday (13 August), but Guardiola is rumoured to want Bravo to be his No 1 goalkeeper at the Etihad Stadium. However, the Spaniard remained tight-lipped about a move for Bravo during a pre-match press conference for City's Champions League play-off against Steaua Bucharest.
"I think it is not the moment to talk about players who are not in Manchester City," the former Barcelona manager explained. "They are players for another club. I am not going to talk, one day before one of the most important games of the season, about transfers."
Meanwhile, Guardiola has once gain omitted Yaya Toure from his matchday squad for their all-important Champions League qualifier against Bucharest. Guardiola sold Toure, 33, to City during his time at Barcelona and it appears increasingly likely the Ivorian could leave the club before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
"He is a player of us and he is training amazing, but I was not sure if he was going to play, and so I prefer it if he stays there training good in Manchester," the City boss said of the ex-Barcelona midfielder. "We travelled with two young guys and for the selection I prefer it to be the young guys than Yaya Toure.
"I prefer it if he stays there training and focuses on the next game. I have a lot of respect of him, for his career and quality, but for the first days – against Sunderland – we were looking for a more intensive game. That is why he didn't play, the only reason why."