The Aston Villa pair of Emiliano Buendia and Emiliano Martinez look set to defy the wishes of their manager and join up with Argentina for international duty.
Both players were included in their nation’s squad for the international break. But the Premier League ruled earlier this week that clubs would not release players for matches played in countries on the UK Government’s red list. This would affect 60 players.
Under the current laws those returning from countries on the red list have to quarantine for 10 days in a managed hotel.
Despite this, Buendia and Martinez are planning to travel to South America. They will be playing in Venezuela and Brazil as well as their home country, all three of which are on the red list.
Martinez has all but confirmed he is going via a tweet. He said: “A hard fought point this afternoon. Now on to (followed by an Argentina flag).”
Buendia, meanwhile, is also set to go. He could be in line for his international debut.
That would rule them out of the Premier League fixtures away at Chelsea and at home to Everton, which would be majorly impactful.
They could also be unavailable for a third game. Villa travel to Stamford Bridge for the third round of the Carabao Cup in the midweek after the Toffees game.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw with Brentford, in which Buendia scored his first Villa goal, Dean Smith revealed he had spoke to both about the situation and made the club’s feelings clear.
He said: “We have sat down with them and told them the Premier League are banning players going to Argentina. So we’ve told them we don’t want them to go out.
“I don’t know what their plans are but they certainly know what our wishes are, that they don’t go, because they’d have to isolate in a government hotel for 10 days when they come back.”
Premier League facing rebellion from stars
Buendia and Martinez are not alone in their stance. Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani has indicated he will play for Uruguay.
Shortly after the announcement on Tuesday, Cavani appeared to be puzzled by the decision. The 34-year-old posted a picture of the statement along with several question marks on his Instagram page.
Uruguay are due to play three World Cup qualifiers in the upcoming international break. They will take on Peru in Lima on September 3 before two home games against Bolivia and Ecuador.
Cavani is yet to feature for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men this season. He was granted an extended holiday following Uruguay’s Copa America exploits this summer.