Pep Guardiola has all but confirmed Claudio Bravo's imminent move to Manchester City, revealing that he "cannot deny what everyone knows". The Chilean international is reportedly flying in from Spain to finalise a £17m ($22.4m) switch from Barcelona that will see him become the club's new first-choice goalkeeper.
Confirmation of that deal would appear to push former number one Joe Hart closer to the exit door, although fresh reports from The Mail on Tuesday (23 August) suggest that lead suitors Everton have now withdrawn their interest due to £135,000-per-week wages that would see them pay approximately £7m just to take the England international on a season-long loan.
Willy Caballero has been selected ahead of Hart in all three of City's opening competitive fixtures under Guardiola, yet the manager hinted at his latest press conference that the latter could make his first appearance of the season alongside forgotten midfielder Yaya Toure in Wednesday night's Champions League play-off round second-leg tie against Steaua Bucharest at the Etihad Stadium.
Captain Vincent Kompany and summer signing Ilkay Gundogan could make their respective returns from injury after the international break, while Bacary Sagna's hamstring problem is expected to heal either in time for this weekend's Premier League clash with West Ham or the upcoming derby away to Manchester United that takes place after the international break on 10 September.
"In terms of long-term injuries, Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan have little problems," Guardiola was quoted as saying by City's official website. "We have 10 days to work with them and improve their physical conditions.
"Hopefully, when we come back from the international break, they will be a full part of our training sessions. Bacary Sagna is not available. Against West Ham is it not possible for him to play. Maybe at Old Trafford. Joe Hart and Yaya Toure have a chance to play tomorrow."
City boast a commanding first-leg advantage over Steaua courtesy of a 5-0 win in the Romanian capital last week secured courtesy of a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero – who also missed two penalties – and efforts from David Silva and Nolito. With such an emphatic lead highly unlikely to be overturned, Guardiola intends to make changes for the return clash.
"We had 28 players in the training session," he added. "It's difficult for me to leave players who deserve to play out. We've played tough games in the last week. I will make some rotations with the players."