Manchester City vs Arsenal - Guardiola says Claudio Bravo is happy in England

Posted Saturday, December 17, 2016 by PA

Pep Guardiola has dismissed claims goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is unhappy at Manchester City.

Some reports in the Spanish media in midweek suggested the 33-year-old had struggled to settle since his B#15.4million move to the Etihad Stadium from Barcelona in August.

City manager Guardiola says he has not seen those reports but such information would contradict what Bravo told him while discussing residency issues during the week.

"I didn't read that," said Guardiola, speaking at a press conference. "I spoke with Bravo in the last days, with his wife and their little daughter. He told me he is so happy."

Asked why he was speaking to Bravo and his wife, Guardiola said: "He came here for the passport issues, what the English department needs to be settled in England. Normally I don't call the wives of my players!"

Guardiola, whose methods have also been questioned, will now hope his side can carry some momentum into Sunday's crunch home clash against title rivals Arsenal.

Guardiola says he has the highest respect for the Gunners and their long-serving boss Arsene Wenger, who he referred to as the "commander-in-chief" as he spoke to media to preview the game.

He said: "He's the boss, no? He's the chief for Arsenal! That's why. I'm the commander-in-chief for Manchester City. I saw so many Netflix series and that's why (I called him that). Commander-in-chief and colonel, I use a lot.

"He has been here a long time. When that happens at a club such as Arsenal, it's because a person is doing a good job.

"I understand it's not easy to win the Premier League, but I have a lot of respect for his career. I've said many times that I admire the way he tries to play and especially the quality of the players they like and they buy. I like a lot."

City are without midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for after the German suffered cruciate ligament damage in midweek.

Midfielder Fernandinho sits out the final match of his three-game ban while striker Sergio Aguero is also suspended for two more fixtures.

Captain Vincent Kompany (knee) remains on the sidelines and midfielder Fabian Delph is not yet back to full match fitness after a groin operation.

Meanwhile Alexis Sanchez says he is "very happy" at Arsenal but insists it is up to the club to come up with a deal to keep him at the Emirates Stadium.

The 27-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract but both he and team-mate Mesut Ozil are reportedly seeking parity with the Premier League's top earners before extending their deals.

Sanchez has been linked with a B#500,000 a week move to the Chinese Super League, with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger unhappy with continued questioning regarding the future of his top goalscorer.

Sanchez has kept quiet about the situation up until now but has put the ball firmly in Arsenal's court.

"It really doesn't depend on me," he told Sky Sports when asked about a new contract.

"If they want to show confidence in me. I'm very happy at the club. I love all the staff. I'm very grateful for everybody here.

"I'm focused more on winning football matches - I'm staying concentrated on that."

The Chile forward went on to set out his targets with the Gunners ahead of this weekend's trip to Manchester City.

"It depends on Arsenal," he added. "I enjoy the relationship with the fans. I want to achieve more for them. I want to win the Premier League and the Champions League."

Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns ahead of their trip to face City

Hamstring issues rule out Aaron Ramsey and Shkodran Mustafi, while Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker (both knee) are also out, as is Santi Cazorla (Achilles).

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