Kevin De Bruyne has withdrawn from the Belgium squad to face Iceland on Wednesday and returned to Manchester City.
The Royal Belgian Football Association cited a fitness issue after the City playmaker was substituted after 73 minutes of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League loss to England at Wembley.
The 29-year-old will now be assessed ahead of City’s Premier League clash with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
A tweet from the Belgium team’s official account read: “@DeBruyneKev returned to his club. He couldn’t be fit enough to play against Iceland.”
The nature of De Bruyne’s problem has not been specified.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez played down any potential issue after the 2-1 defeat to England. He said the player had been taken off as a precautionary measure.
“I wouldn’t say it was an injury,” Martinez said. “It is too early to say, there was a feeling that he wasn’t right. It was more precaution that we had to avoid (something), he wasn’t 100 per cent.”
Manchester clubs target Pochettino
A managerial face all too familiar with the Premier League is set to become ‘the most wanted man in Manchester’ as Man Utd and Man City face uncertain futures under their current bosses.
Hopes were high at Man Utd of continued progression under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going into the new campaign.
However, two defeats from their first three – including the 6-1 destruction at the hands of Tottenham – have tempered expectations.
Furthermore, the club’s inability to land top transfer target Jadon Sancho left fans in dismay.
City, meanwhile, are expected to challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title after a disappointing campaign last season.
Manager Pep Guardiola has just one year remaining on his current deal, however, with his tenure at the club already the longest he has spent with any single side in his managerial career.
Now, the Daily Mirror report that both Manchester clubs are eyeing up former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino. Read more…