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Kevin De Bruyne set to miss Man City’s matches with Everton and PSG

Manchester City v Club Brugge – UEFA Champions League – Group A – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Manchester City will have to make do without Kevin De Bruyne for their upcoming matches against Everton and Paris St Germain.

Manager Pep Guardiola revealed the Belgium playmaker tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the week.

De Bruyne had been on international duty with Belgium and scored in their 1-1 draw against Wales in a World Cup qualifier in Cardiff on Tuesday.

De Bruyne was on target as Belgium faced Wales in midweek

De Bruyne was on target as Belgium faced Wales in midweek (David Davies/PA)

The news means he will miss Sunday’s clash with the Toffees in the Premier League as well as the visit of PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday. City require just a point from that group game against the French side to confirm their place in the knockout stages.

It is yet another blow for the 30-year-old, who suffered a facial injury in last season’s Champions League final and then damaged ankle ligaments during Euro 2020.

Guardiola, however, is not concerned about when the player might return to action, stressing that his health is the top priority.

Pep Guardiola has stressed that De Bruyne's health is more important than football

Pep Guardiola has stressed that De Bruyne’s health is more important than football (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Spaniard, who lost his mother to the virus last year, said: “Unfortunately Kevin got positive from Covid in Belgium so he will be isolated for 10 days. Two days ago he told me.

“Forget about the fitness and the momentum. Now he has to recover well and go with as less symptoms as possible. The health of the human being is more important than anything else.

“So when one person tests positive, be careful because still, right now, people are dying about this pandemic situation.

“He was vaccinated so he was more protected and hopefully the symptoms will be minor.

“The important thing is that he comes back when he is negative. He will start to train with us as soon as possible but there’s not any concern about the rhythm or what we are going to miss. The person is more important.

“When someone tests positive we have to be careful and we have to help him and he has to be isolated at home and hopefully it will go well.”

Jack Grealish suffered a knock while on international duty

Jack Grealish suffered a knock while on international duty (John Walton/PA)

Fellow midfielder Jack Grealish, the club’s record signing, is also unlikely to feature against Everton and Phil Foden is a doubt following the international break.

Both players picked up knocks on England duty with Grealish withdrawing from Gareth Southgate’s squad early and returning to City prior to Monday’s 10-0 win in San Marino.

“Jack I don’t think (will be available), Phil we’ll see,” said Guardiola.

The future of City forward Raheem Sterling was the subject of further speculation during the international break but Guardiola was unwilling to discuss the matter.

Raheem Sterling's long-term club future is unclear

Raheem Sterling’s long-term club future is unclear (Zac Goodwin/PA)

England forward Sterling, whose contract expires at the end of next season, said earlier this term he would be open to a move abroad.

The 26-year-old has not been a regular starter for City in recent months and has been linked with Barcelona.

Guardiola said at a press conference: “Don’t ask me, from now until the last day of the window, about transfers or players because I’m not going to answer any questions. It’s not my business.

“Our business, Raheem’s as well, is Everton, PSG, West Ham. You may insist but I’m not going to answer any questions about what is going to happen in the future.

“I don’t know what is going to happen and I’m not concerned for one second.”