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Laporte set for six months on the sidelines but Man City boss Guardiola remains positive

13:40 BST 13/09/2019
Aymeric Laporte Manchester City 2019-20
The Premier League champions are set to be without their French defender for the foreseeable future but the hope is that he will be back early in 2020

Aymeric Laporte is set to be sidelined for up to six months, but Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is remaining positive and hoping to have the defender back at his disposal early in 2020.

The Premier League champions saw a key man pick up an untimely knee injury during a meeting with Brighton on August 31.

Laporte has been a standout performer for the Blues, making it impossible for France boss Didier Deschamps to overlook him.

He has, however, been denied the opportunity to collect a first senior cap for his country.

The 25-year-old is also unable to aid the cause of his club side, with it feared that he could be out of action for a prolonged period of time.

Guardiola has suggested that will not be the case, although it will be early in the New Year before the commanding centre-half comes back into contention.

The Blues boss told reporters when asked about how long the Frenchman could be out for: “Not long, five months, six months, next year... January or February.”

It remains to be seen when Laporte will be in a position to challenge for a starting berth at City again.

The same can be said for Germany international winger Leroy Sane.

He is also nursing a knee complaint, with ligaments damaged during a Community Shield outing against Liverpool.

Sane, like Laporte, was forced under the knife and is now on the long road to recovery.

A switch to Bayern Munich had been mooted before the 23-year-old was laid low, but Guardiola is hoping to welcome him back into the City fold prior to the next transfer window opening.

He said when offering an update on highly-rated forward: “In December, January, could be perfect.”

Sane’s countryman, Ilkay Gundogan, is in a much stronger position when it comes to challenging for minutes in the near future.

Guardiola stated that while the midfielder “had a stomach problem - he trained really good the last few days”.

Gabriel Jesus, who has sat out City’s last two fixtures with a thigh complaint, is also working with the rest of the group and ready for a recall.

John Stones is another who has shaken off a knock and benefited from a lack of international action during the break from domestic duty.

Benjamin Mendy is not yet ready to step back into the City side, but is making steady progress in his rehabilitation from a latest injury setback.

Guardiola said of the French full-back: “He is good. His knee is reacting well so hopefully in the next few games. We want to be careful and sure when he starts to play.”