The manager is worried that allowing players to travel around the world will increase risk of coronavirus spreading at clubs
Pep Guardiola is concerned about a Covid-19 outbreak in the Premier League when players disperse during the international break at the end of March.
The number of cases have started to fall with the Premier League announcing that there were two positive results from their two most recent rounds of testing of 2,915 players and club staff – the lowest since October.
But the Manchester City manager says he’s worried that players travelling around the world for international matches could lead to a spike in numbers when they return.
How will international matches affect Man City?
A two-week international break has been scheduled after City’s FA Cup quarter-final clash with Everton on March 20.
City could have 18 players called up for international duty as well as various youth team players, with the Under-21 European Championships taking place at the same time.
However, Premier League clubs may not be obliged to let Portuguese or South American players leave after world governing body FIFA extended a rule over releasing such squad members until the end of April.
What’s been said?
“The only way to be protected from this virus is to stay at home, and don’t move and social distance with no contact and don’t travel,” Guardiola said ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Everton.
“Now the people are going to travel, the players are going to the national teams and it’s difficult after to control it, so I think something is going to rise unfortunately.
“I would love to say or to guess it’s not going to happen but from experience it happened in two or three waves already worldwide, so if you move you take a risk to be contaminated, to get the virus again.
“I think the Premier League should be concerned about this, all the leagues [should be] concerned.”
How have City been affected by the coronavirus pandemic?
Wednesday’s game with Everton was rearranged after their match on December 28 was called off four hours before kick-off following a Covid-19 outbreak at City.
The club’s training ground was temporarily closed down and deep cleaned after five players and four members of staff tested positive.
Next week’s Champions League first leg against Borussia Monchengladbach has been moved to Budapest in Hungary because of Germany’s regulations over travel during the pandemic.