City’s mounting injury problems pushes Pellegrini to demand rule change

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LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini wants the rules to be changed so that players unfit to play for their club need not report for international duty.

He told a news conference on Friday that he was upset this week when Belgium ignored City’s request not to use their captain Vincent Kompany, who had not played since the middle of last month because of a calf problem.

“If you don’t send a player to the national squad, you cannot use him in your club and it should be the same,” he said.

“If a player didn’t play the latest three games for your squad, they shouldn’t play for the national squad.

“Those are the rules but I think some day clubs will protest about that.”

City’s injury concerns are mounting ahead of a crucial period that includes the first derby of the season against neighbours and Premier League title rivals Manchester United.

David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov are both likely to miss that game on Sunday next week as well as Saturday’s home game with Bournemouth.

Striker Sergio Aguero, last season’s leading Premier League scorer, was also injured on international duty, while fullback Gael Clichy and midfielder Fabian Delph are also all currently missing.

Kompany did come through nearly an hour of Belgium’s Euro 2016 tie against Israel on Tuesday, and is in the squad for Saturday, as well as Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri.

(Reporting by Steve Tongue; editing by Toby Davis)


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