Guardiola left confused over Mendy whereabouts
Frenchman joked about being in Hong Kong.
Benjamin Mendy caused confusion over his whereabouts by claiming he was in Hong Kong on Friday.
The Manchester City defender, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, posted a short video of himself on his Instagram account in which he seemed to tag himself in at Hong Kong International Airport.
The Frenchman later claimed he was only joking, but not until after he had caught his manager Pep Guardiola by surprise.
— Andy Hampson (@andyhampson) February 8, 2019
Guardiola was told of the posting as he held a press conference later in the day to preview the champions’ Premier League clash with Chelsea on Sunday.
Mendy had been in Barcelona on Thursday for assessment on his knee, on which he underwent surgery in November, with City’s preferred specialist Dr Ramon Cugat.
Asked why Mendy was in Hong Kong, Guardiola said: “Wow. I didn’t know it. F***, he’s a lucky guy.
“He said he was going for one day to Paris, but Hong Kong – that’s far away. I don’t know. I have to install Instagram.
“Really I don’t know. Yesterday he was in Barcelona.”
Asked if it was OK for him to be in Hong Kong, Guardiola said: “Definitely not!”
Sky Sports News, who were broadcasting the press conference live, apologised for Guardiola’s language.
Mendy later clarified the situation by tweeting: “It was just joking with my uber driver I dont want no problems Pep.”
The 24-year-old posted further updates throughout the evening; replying to Kyle Walker’s tongue-in-cheek tweet and suggesting he was in Dubai when it appeared the full-back was back in Manchester.
Mendy has played just 27 minutes of football since his knee operation.
He appeared as a second-half substitute in City’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg win over Burton on January 23 but has missed the last four games as his comeback is carefully managed.
— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) February 8, 2019
Guardiola said: “He’s injured. It’s not easy, meniscus, it’s not easy. He needs to re-adapt.
“It’s not that if you start training in two days you are fit. He has to handle the effort we are putting on him. He has to be careful.”