Pep Guardiola has revealed Nathan Ake is recovering from his hamstring injury and could be available for Manchester City’s two finals next month.
The Dutchman has struggled with injuries over recent weeks after picking up a hamstring issue against Bayern Munich on 19 April. The problem forced him to miss the next three matches but Ake made a goalscoring return in the win over West Ham United at the beginning of May.
The ex-Bournemouth man also played three days later as City beat Leeds United at the Etihad, but he had to be replaced in the second half after suffering a recurrence of the hamstring injury. Ake has missed the last four matches as a result and is not expected to be involved when the champions travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday for their penultimate league match of the season.
It has put the 28-year-old’s participation in the FA Cup and Champions League finals in doubt. City meet Manchester United at Wembley next week in the former, before facing Inter Milan in Istanbul seven days later as the Blues aim to win their first Champions League crown.
Asked about Ake’s injury ahead of the midweek clash at the Amex, Guardiola said: “He is getting better.”
“I don’t know if arrives for tomorrow, I don’t know for Brentford, but he is at the latter stage. We have to be careful as it was the second time injured. We have to be right that he is fit just in case he is needed for United and Inter.”
Ake played a key role in the club’s impressive run between February and April and has made 38 appearances this season. His ability to line up at left-back and push inside when City have possession was crucial to the team’s tactical set-up, and last week Phil Foden claimed Ake was the club’s player of the season alongside Erling Haaland in 2022/23.
Guardiola also praised Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi ahead of Wednesday’s game and compared his brand of football to a michelin-star restaurant.
“Congratulations for this incredible achievement to be in the Europa League,” said the 52-year-old, in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference. “Roberto is one of the most influential managers in the last 20 years.
“There is no team playing in the way they play, it’s unique. I have the feeling when they arrive in the Premier League, the impact would be great. I couldn’t expect in this short time. They deserve the compliments and success they have. I try to learn a lot, it’s unique, like a michelin-star restaurant.”