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Guardiola insists Bravo is a 'top player'

Press Association logoPress Association 10/02/2017 Andy Hampson

Pep Guardiola insists his opinion of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has not changed despite dropping him from his Manchester City side.

Bravo has struggled to impress at City since being controversially signed as a replacement for the abruptly-axed England No.1 Joe Hart.

The Chilean's disappointing form has led to him being left on the bench for City's last three games but Guardiola retains faith in the 33-year-old former Barcelona goalkeeper.

"My opinion of Claudio remains the same," he said. "He's a top player, a top goalkeeper. He's one of the best in the world. His long career speaks for itself.

"Football, of course, here is more particular, more crosses, more special things, but, of course, he is a top, top goalkeeper. For me, there's no doubt about that."

Guardiola also denied having any regrets over his decisions to bring in Bravo, which was based on his superior footwork, or to allow Hart to join Torino on loan.

"The decision I take is based on what I see, why one player is not here and another is," he said. "That's why I am here."

Despite his backing for Bravo, Guardiola revealed he had not yet decided whether he should return for Monday's Premier League trip to Bournemouth.

His replacement Willy Caballero has conceded just one goal in the three successive games he has started - the FA Cup win at Crystal Palace and Premier League defeats of West Ham and Swansea.

"I don't know," said Guardiola when asked which goalkeeper would play at a press conference to preview the trip to the Vitality Stadium. "I will decide the day of the game."

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