Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy facing uncertain future after Pep Guardiola row - sources
MANCHESTER, England -- Benjamin Mendy is facing an uncertain future at Manchester City after angering Pep Guardiola with his attitude on and off the pitch this season -- the latest incident seeing the player report for treatment last Sunday three hours late.
The 24-year-old, a £52 million signing from Monaco last July, is sidelined with a metatarsal injury and unavailable for Saturday's Premier League clash with Brighton at the Etihad.
But sources have told ESPN FC that France international Mendy's future has been questioned by Guardiola because of the manager's increasing annoyance with his professionalism.
Sources have also said Guardiola was furious with Mendy on Sunday when the player reported three hours late for treatment at the training ground.
Asked about Mendy at his prematch news conference on Friday, Guardiola said: "Yes, he was late. I have spoken to him.
"They [the players] know that they have to be here on time."
Mendy had spent Saturday evening at Wembley, watching Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title fight against Alexander Povetkin, and had been due to receive treatment the following morning.
But his late arrival at the training ground was regarded as the final straw by Guardiola, who had already become exasperated by Mendy's approach prior to that.
The manager attempted to play down the incident and said: "It happens that players are late because they have to drop the kids at school."
Mendy received a 12-month driving ban last Friday after accumulating 24 penalty points on his licence for failing to respond to police letters requesting confirmation that he was the driver for four separate speeding offences.
The defender has made just 13 senior appearances for City since arriving from Monaco due to a cruciate ligament injury sustained last September.
Despite that, he was named in France's World Cup-winning squad before returning to action with City at the start of this season.
Meanwhile, Guardiola revealed that Kevin De Bruyne is close to returning to training as he continues his recovery from a knee ligament injury.
The Belgium international suffered the injury in August and was expected to be out for three months, but it is hoped he could be back in time for the Manchester derby on Nov. 11.
"He's making the last steps, starting training in part in the next days -- part of the training session with us. So everything is going well," Guardiola said.
With crucial games against Hoffenheim and Liverpool next week, Saturday's clash with Brighton could present an opportunity for Phil Foden, who impressed in the midweek Carabao Cup victory over Oxford United.
The 18-year-old midfielder is yet to start a Premier League game but Guardiola said he was ready for his opportunity.
"It's not important if he starts or plays a lot of minutes, he's part of the group," he said. "It's about my decisions, he's ready to play, of course, and he can start in any competition. After that he has to compete with his teammates and sometimes it's not possible, but he's ready."
Sources have told ESPN FC that Foden is close to agreeing a new contract, but Guardiola said he has not spoken to director of football Txiki Begiristain about the progress on a deal.
"I think Phil likes to be here and the club has no doubt about that and the manager has no doubt about that and hopefully it will happen sooner or later but I'm not involved," he said.
"He needs to go step by step, don't read too much, don't watch too much, train as good as possible, play as good as possible and his career will speak for itself. He is a young player and has to make his own career step by step."
ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent Jonathan Smith contributed to this report.