MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Oct 21 – Vincent Kompany is set to become the latest high-profile casualty of Pep Guardiola’s reign after the Manchester City captain was left out of the squad for the Champions League defeat in Barcelona.
However, City have moved swiftly to ease any fears over Sergio Aguero’s future at the Etihad after he was only named among the substitutes for the Group C clash at the Nou Camp.
Guardiola has already marginalised two of City’s title-winning team, sending Joe Hart on loan to Torino and freezing out Yaya Toure ahead of an expected departure in January.
It has emerged that Kompany was fit and available to face Barcelona following a brief comeback against Everton at the weekend, but Guardiola decided to put teenage defender Pablo Maffeo on the bench instead.
Kompany’s Belgium teammate Kevin De Bruyne confirmed the decision afterwards, saying: “That’s Pep’s choice. He must have had his reasons.”
Kompany’s exclusion marked another low for the City captain after two seasons decimated by muscle injuries, and he looks unlikely to stay beyond the end of the season.
City were in two minds about keeping him this summer and the 30-year-old was injured in his only start under Guardiola in the EFL Cup at Swansea City last month.
Kompany is understood to have grown increasingly frustrated and was involved in an angry confrontation with Aleksandar Kolarov in training before the Manchester derby.
Quoted in the sequel to the book Pep Confidential, published in Spain on Thursday, Guardiola showed his ruthless streak towards the squad he inherited in the summer.
He said: ‘If they don’t run or jump then they can go because there are lots of good kids in the academy and they will do that.”
However, City are adamant that Aguero’s future is secure despite Guardiola’s puzzling decision to keep his top scorer on the bench until the 79th minute at the Nou Camp.
Aguero did not warm up beforehand and there is a suggestion that Guardiola was unhappy with his striker for playing against Paraguay last week despite picking up a calf injury in the previous game against Peru.
It’s understood that Aguero was unhappy over the decision but accepted it was tactical.
Guardiola has said on several occasions this season that Aguero can improve despite scoring 11 goals in 10 appearances for his club.
But City insiders insist that Aguero has already signed a 12-month contract extension tying him to the club until 2020 which is ready to be confirmed.
Aguero’s Argentina teammate Lionel Messi destroyed City with a hat-trick on Wednesday night as Barcelona won 4-0 on Guardiola’s return to the club.
And City chief executive Ferran Soriano declared that City would jump at the chance to sign Messi if he ever leaves the Nou Camp.
“Messi is the best player in the world,’ said Soriano. ‘If one day he wants to come to City, we would open the doors wide for him.”
-By Daily Mail-