Pep Guardiola urges England to exclude John Stones from Euro 2020 duty

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged England to exclude John Stones from the national team squad with the centre-back struggling to overcome a groin problem. The centre-back has been a crucial player for the Citizens this campaign but he has not featured for the past couple of weeks where he has been on the sidelines.

Speaking to reporters, the Catalan tactician indicated that Stones had made a tentative comeback for the bench against Schalke but he has unfortunately suffered another setback which should keep him out during the international break, he said: “Hopefully he will not go. He is not ready to play, he is injured. Stones made an effort in the last two days before the Schalke game; he was not good. We made a test today [Friday] and he doesn’t feel good, and that’s why he hasn’t trained with us for the past two days.”

Meanwhile, there have been reports indicating that the Citizens could be levied with a two-window transfer ban from FIFA amid concerns pertaining the handling of minor players. When asked about the same, Guardiola said that he would have no concern over the same, given the club are in a comfortable position with the vast talents within their ranks, he added: “Of course I’d be OK. It’s [the squad] good, really good.”

Manchester City are currently on course to secure a quadruple and they can make progress to the semi-final of the FA Cup when they face Swansea City on the road this weekend. On paper, the Citizens are favourites to make progress to the last four of the competition but they need to guard against complacency with the international break around the corner. The Cup tie could witness game time for the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and Leroy Sane, who have regularly come off the bench for the Premier League duties this year.