John Stones. Credit: Getty.
John Stones has not been included in the Manchester City squad which will travel to Belgium on Monday for the upcoming Champions League game against Club Brugge.
The Premier League champions face the Belgians on Tuesday (5.45pm kick-off) and will be without the England international, who played his first minutes for the club this season during last weekend’s 2-0 win over Burnley.
The Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan has subsequently reported the defender’s absence is due to personal reasons and is not because of illness or injury.
In fact, Stones was even involved in City training on Monday morning, which shown on their club website.
Who will play centre-back?
Without the former Everton man, City will have three centre-backs to choose from: Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.
Dias is almost certain to play after he was rested at the weekend, although he was introduced from the bench in the latter stages. Laporte is most likely to start alongside him, while Ake deputised at left-back against Burnley and is an option to do so again if Oleksandr Zinchenko is not deemed fit to start.
Is anyone else missing?
The only other notable absentee is Ferran Torres, who Pep Guardiola confirmed last week will be out for around two to three months.
Ederson and Gabriel Jesus were also missing in the win over Burnley due to their involvement with Brazil during the latest international break, but are available for the Champions League clash and will return to England after the game, without the need to quarantine.
“We will join them tonight in the hotel and tomorrow they may play, maybe not,” said Guardiola on Monday. “They don't need special things to be ready. We will talk to them and see how they feel.
“They trained in Belgium for one or two days with our physios and Richard [Wright] our keeper trainer. We will see how they feel.”
Squad in full
Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Jack Grealish, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Zack Steffen, Aymeric Laporte, Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Fernandinho, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Ederson, Scott Carson, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer.