Pep boost! Guardiola reveals Man City’s South American stars want to return to training EARLY despite being given a month off after Copa America
- Pep Guardiola has revealed some of his South American stars could return early
- The Manchester City manager offered his players a month off to recuperate
- Many of them took part in the Copa America, which Brazil eventually won
- But with players keen to get back into it, some could return earlier than planned
All five were offered a month off but Guardiola has been told a number are planning to start work at the City Football Academy next Monday ahead of the new season.
Pep Guardiola has revealed some of his South American stars could return early
Ederson (R) and Gabriel Jesus (second left) both won the Copa America with Brazil
‘They decide whether to come back after three or four weeks off,’ Guardiola said in Hong Kong. ‘I don’t want them to come back if they are not fit, if they are tired and have still not recovered from a tough season.
‘Some of them will come on the 29th or 30th, others come on August 3 or 4. It means a lot, I like it.’
The Catalan has left that decision down to his players, echoing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s view that the football schedule is ‘killing’ players.
Sergio Aguero (No 9) and Nicolas Otamendi (No 17) also came third with Argentina
Riyad Mahrez is set to link back up with the squad later after lifting the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria last weekend.
‘We cannot forget we are starting the season and Mahrez hasn’t finished the previous one,’ Guardiola added.
‘It’s a crazy schedule and we’ll kill our players sooner or later, we cannot sustain it for a long time.
‘They have to breathe, rest, give more quality in the tournaments. They have to rest, but if the people want to come back a little bit earlier, they are more than welcome.
‘They know they want to come back – the standard has risen every season. And if they want to play they have to be fit.’
Riyad Mahrez will link up later after lifting the Africa Cup of Nations with Algeria last weekend
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