Barcelona have agreed a deal with Ajax to sign goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, according to Sky sources, paving the way for Claudio Bravo to join Manchester City and trigger Joe Hart’s exit.
Cillessen – a 27-year-old Netherlands international who has been with the Dutch club for five years – was left out of Ajax’s defeat at home to Willem II on Saturday ahead of his move to the Nou Camp.
Barca announced on Saturday that an agreement to sell Bravo, who has been their first choice since he joined from Real Sociedad in 2014, to Pep Guardiola’s City has been reached.
Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague also reported on Friday the clubs had agreed a fee of around £17m and Bravo’s family were telling friends they are moving to Manchester.
But he also disclosed that Barca boss Luis Enrique’s pursuit of a replacement was instrumental in the timing of the deal, with the Catalan club’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez also admitting they were waiting to secure a replacement before allowing Bravo to move.
Guardiola’s desire to sign Bravo means that England number one Joe Hart is almost certain to leave the club before the deadline.
Sky sources understand that Hart has informed the club he wants to leave, with Everton, Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund all having expressed an interest, and Hart is open to a move abroad.
Hart has been left on the bench for City’s opening two matches of the season, with Guardiola preferring Willy Caballero for victories over Sunderland and Stoke City.