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“I’ve looked into this” – Manchester City reporter offers clarity on Jack Grealish training ground rumours



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Manchester City reporter Simon Bajkowski of the Manchester Evening News has offered insight into training ground rumours surrounding forward Jack Grealish.

The England international forward has endured one of his more challenging seasons in the top-level game, both during his time with City and at Aston Villa, battling with a lack of consistent game time and a string of injury problems.

Finding himself on the periphery of Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans upon the turn of the year, Grealish was forced to work on the training ground to greater lengths in order to earn his place back on the left side of Manchester City’s attack.

However, his return to the starting line-up against Copenhagen was cut short within the opening exchanges as he sustained a groin injury that would reappear during his second comeback appearance against Luton Town in the FA Cup.

Pep Guardiola has been keen to suggest on multiple occasions that Grealish would have to increase his work and performances in training in order to return to the starting line-up, leading to some believing that the 28-year-old could have fallen into the ‘bad faces’ crew.

Now responding as part of a wide-ranging question and answer session for the Manchester Evening News, reporter Simon Bajkowski was quizzed on suggestions that Jack Grealish may have fallen into Pep Guardiola’s ‘bad faces’ category through training ground performance.

“I’ve looked into this and all I can tell you is I can’t find anyone who has backed it up,” Bajkowski clarified. “(Jack) Grealish is entitled to be frustrated at how his season has gone, and is perceived to have gone.”

The Manchester Evening News’ chief Manchester City writer continued, “But I’ve not heard anything concrete about him being anything other than a complete professional.”

Pep Guardiola is understood to be a big believer in positive training ground behaviour correlating with strong performances on and off the pitch – a belief that has directly led to the exits of some first-team stars over the years.

Joao Cancelo is understood to have been the latest to fall victim to the rule, having been shut out of Pep Guardiola’s plans midway through the Treble success of 2022/23, ultimately resulting in a six-month loan to Bayern Munich and a full-season agreement with Barcelona.

Such is the severity of Cancelo’s situation at the Etihad Stadium that the Portugal international is not expected to make a return to the club at any point in the future, and City officials will likely entertain offers of any level during the upcoming summer market.