Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he isn’t concerned by his players’ off-field activities just hours after Sergio Aguero was involved in a car crash in the Netherlands.
City were forced to rule out Aguero for Saturday’s clash at Premier League champions Chelsea after the Argentina forward was a passenger in a taxi that crashed on its way to the airport in Amsterdam on Thursday evening.
Aguero, 29, had been to a concert in the Dutch capital on his day off and suffered a broken rib in the smash, when the driver lost control of the vehicle on a bend and it struck a post.
There have been questions over why Aguero was abroad just 48 hours before the leaders’ showdown with Chelsea.
In a statement, City said Aguero was in Holland “on his day off” and Guardiola was adamant his star had done nothing wrong.
“It was his day off. I am not the police,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“I think days off are for players to be happy. I want the players to be happy.
“I don’t like to train everyday because I think players need to rest mentally and physically, and they can enjoy their lives.
“I want my players to have fun. So he decided to go there, it’s ok for me.”
Guardiola confirmed he is not going to impose more rules that force City’s players to stay at home on their days off.
“We have enough rules. Play right, play left, defend the long balls, set pieces, control the counter attack from (Eden) Hazard, Pedro, Willian,” Guardiola joked.
While Guardiola won’t take a hardline stance, he admitted he is relieved the damage to Aguero wasn’t even worse.
“I will speak to him this afternoon to ask how he is, but I know he’s ok,” he said.
“It was an accident and you’re always worried about what happened, but he’s ok and that is the most important thing.
“After that, he will recover as soon as possible. He cannot play tomorrow and after the international break – maybe he was selected for Argentina, but he cannot go there.
“We will see. I don’t know the assessment of the doctor.
“The first impression that we have is that he has a broken rib, but exactly how many days he’ll be off I don’t know right now.”
– Fresh blow –
Aguero has scored six times in his last five games for the club, including an impressive hat-trick at Watford.
The Argentine is one goal away from equalling City’s all-time scoring record of 177, set by Eric Brook in the 1930s.
He’ll now have to wait to pass that tally and it has been reported City will be without his services for around two months following the crash in the De Boelelaan area of Amsterdam.
Earlier in the evening, the striker had posted a photograph of himself with singer Maluma on his Instagram page, with the caption in Spanish: “Thanks for the invitation”.
The Aguero blow comes after City discovered this week that France defender Benjamin Mendy ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in last weekend’s win over Crystal Palace.
Guardiola doesn’t expect Mendy to be back in action until April.
“Mendy will be operated on in Barcelona. He will be out until our semi-finals of the Champions League,” he added.
Guardiola also confirmed City captain Vincent Kompany won’t be involved at Stamford Bridge.
“No way. He didn’t make one training session with us since a month ago,” he said.
“I spoke with (Belgium manager) Roberto Martinez, he told me he’s travelling there for a meeting with the Belgium doctors, but he’s coming back.
“Of course, he cannot play with Belgium.”
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