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Bravo and Ter Stegen have a normal rivalry, insists Iniesta

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta insists goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre ter Stegen have nothing more than a normal rivalry.

Over the last two seasons, Bravo, 33, has been the club’s first-choice in LaLiga, while the Germany goalkeeper played in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

Speculation over whether Barca will be able to keep both keepers happy for a third season has intensified in recent weeks with reports that Pep Guardiola wants to take Ter Stegen, 24, to Manchester City.

Head coach Luis Enrique has insisted he is not worried by the situation and Iniesta also attempted to dampen any talk of a feud between the pair. 

“I do not perceive tension beyond what there has always been,” Iniesta said ahead of Saturday’s International Champions Cup match against Liverpool at Wembley.

“They are players competing for a spot like everyone else and everything remains within normal limits.

“I don’t know if [the speculation] is true or false but as the captain I think they are training and behaving the same as ever. We compete for every position at this club, we want to do as much as we can, but eventually it is the coach who is in charge and he makes the decisions. 

“I don’t know what will happen in the future but certainly from what I can see at the moment the players are impeccable with the squad in the way they behave and the way they train. We hope everything stays like that.”

Iniesta was asked whether he expected Barcelona to sign a fourth forward to supplement Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez or whether the form of Munir, who has scored three times in two ICC matches against Celtic and Leicester City, meant that was not required.

He said: “Munir has always been in the squad, for us he is one of our strikers, whether or not another striker comes.

“I know the manager and the technical secretary are the ones who always have their eyes focused on what is available in the market. 

“If they think that is advantageous to us I am sure they will make a move, although it’s not an easy situation. 

“I think any player should be motivated to play for Barca and any player who does come will be a player who can contribute. If someone comes they are more than welcome, if they don’t I am sure we will get by with that we have as we always have done.

“We always had a strong squad and strong players and really should be trying to win every trophy.

“In this game against Liverpool and also in the Gamper Trophy [against Sampdoria] it is a question of getting into our rhythm and ready for when the more decisive games come.”

Barcelona’s 23-man squad to play Liverpool: Ter Stegen, Bravo, Masip, Douglas, Pique, Rakitic, Busquets, Arda, Iniesta, Suarez, Messi, Mascherano, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Vidal, Vermaelen, Mathieu, Suarez, Samper, Digne, Camara, Mujica and Alfaro.

Fri 5 Aug, 2016
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