Mascherano 'would understand' Bravo joining Manchester City


Javier Mascherano says the Barcelona squad are unsure over the future of Claudio Bravo amid rumours of a move to Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola is thought to be interested in bringing a new goalkeeper to the Etihad Stadium, having left regular number one Joe Hart out of the Premier League opener against Sunderland on Saturday.

Speculation has grown that City are close to agreeing a deal to sign the Chile international, who joined from Real Sociedad in 2014 for a fee reported to be in the region of £17.5million.

Mascherano is unsure of Bravo's plans, but says he would accept his decision to leave if he considered City's offer to be an improvement.

"We don't know anything. I honestly don't know how much is true or how much is a lie," he said ahead of the second leg of Barca's Supercopa de Espana clash with Sevilla.

"I always say the same thing - if a team-mate has decided to leave then that's because they think they'd be better somewhere else.

"Maybe I've missed a meeting, but Claudio hasn't said anything to us. He's totally focused on training and on the Supercopa. What happens afterwards, I don't know.

"Claudio has done great things in the last two years, I hope he stays here because he's still an important part of the team. But if he does decide to leave then I would understand that. We all look for the best things for ourselves and our families."

Bravo has battled Marc-Andre ter Stegen for the starting spot in the last two seasons and Mascherano hopes to see both continue to fight it out for playing time at Camp Nou.

"I've not seen anything different or in training," he said. "He's a great professional, very experienced. He's a great person. He always behaves with dignity. He seems the same as he has for his other two years here.

"It's not up to us to speak to our team-mates about their future. It's the coach who decides who plays. These are personal decisions. 

"Both are great goalkeepers, they train phenomenally well. The ideal thing for us is for both to continue."

Reports have emerged that Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas could be in line for a shock move to Real Madrid, with Antonio Conte having left him out of Monday's 2-1 win over West Ham.

But Mascherano says he is not the correct person to weigh up the merits of a former Barca midfielder opting to join their arch-rivals.

"There's a ton of rumours, we don't really know what's happening, but anything is possible these days," he added.

"We know he's identified with Barcelona because of his past with La Masia and in the first team not long ago, but players make decisions based on their opportunities.

"Professionals try to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. I don't think I'm the one to judge."