Defender Benjamin Mendy is facing a significant spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury, according to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
The French full-back is due to a visit to a knee specialist in Barcelona after suffering the injury against Crystal Palace in the Premier League last weekend .
“I think it is going to be a major setback,” said Guardiola after City’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, which Mendy was present for. “We are going to see finally what he has.”
While Mendy was the only out-and-out left back at the club, Guardiola insists he does have options for cover even if he is ruled out for a significant amount of time.
Asked how long he expected Mendy — a £52m signing from Monaco in the summer — to be out for, Guardiola added: “I don’t know.
“Tomorrow he’s travelling to Barcelona and we will see finally what he has. Our first impression is that it will it be a little long, longer than we expected. It is very frustrating for him first as a person but like happened last year with Ilkay Gundogan, I feel really sad for him. For the way we want to play, we will lose a lot, he is a unique player.”
Asked whether he would consider looking for a replacement left-back in January, Guardiola said: “We will see in January. We thought next summer about looking for another left-back, another replacement, but we will see what we do.”
“We have alternatives in our squad – Danilo, Fabian Delph, Fernandinho, can play there so we will see as we go along.”
Mendy will be on his way to meet Barcelona-based Ramon Cugat, a close friend of Guardiola, who treated City duo Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne last season.