Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be watching his side perform from afar across their next two Premier League matches after undergoing surgery this week.
A statement released by the club this week read, “Pep Guardiola has today undergone a routine operation on a back problem. The Manchester City boss has been suffering with severe back pain for some time lately, and flew out to Barcelona for emergency surgery performed by Dr Mireia Illueca.
“The surgery was a success, and Pep will now recover and rehabilitate in Barcelona. In his absence, assistant manager Juanma Lillo will oversee coaching of the first team on the training field and will assume duties on the touchline until Pep’s return.
“He is expected to return after the forthcoming international break. Everyone at Manchester City wishes Pep a speedy recovery, and look forward to seeing him back in Manchester soon.”
Now, as detailed by Jack Gaughan for MailSport, Pep Guardiola will have the option to remain in contact with stand-in head coach and mainstay assistant Juanma Lillo during the matches against Sheffield United and Fulham over the coming weeks.
As per the report, Pep Guardiola will watch both fixtures at home in Barcelona and will have the option of remaining in contact with the Manchester City bench. However, it is highlighted that trust in Juanma Lillo is ‘absolute’, with their association going back almost 30 years.
It is further detailed that while the ideologies of the two coaches may differ, Juanma Lillo will be following instruction from Guardiola across the coming two Premier League fixtures – which are expected the be the only two matches that City’s head coach will be absent from.
Manchester City travel to Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon as they aim to keep up their 100% record during the start of the new Premier League season, while the contest could also present an opportunity to grant a fresh first-team debut for one man.
The Premier League champions are on the verge of unveiling 21-year-old Belgium international winger Jeremy Doku has their latest recruit, after reaching an agreement with Stade Rennais on a fee understood to be in the region of £55 million.
Doku is widely viewed as the replacement for Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium, after the Algerian brought an end to his illustrious stay in east Manchester earlier this summer by joining Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli in a £30 million agreement.
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