Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne is closing in on a return, but added the FIFA Club World Cup may come too soon for the Belgian.

De Bruyne has been included in the squad bound for the tournament in Saudi Arabia later this month, but Guardiola says he doesn’t know if he is able to take part at this point.

The Belgian has returned to light training, but is yet to train with the squad under normal training conditions.

“I think he has started to run on the pitch but hasn’t trained with us once,” said Guardiola.

“The FIFA Club World Cup is in two or three weeks. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a bit early but I don’t know (at this point).”


City have been without KDB since our first Premier League game of the season against Burnley,

Guardiola acknowledged how vital De Bruyne is to his team, but is also keen not to put too much pressure on him when he does return given the serious injury he is recovering from.

“Kevin is so important,” said Pep.

“But unfortunately, he’s had a tough injury for three or four months.

“Don’t put pressure on him, when he’s back we’ll have open arms for him.

“But I’ve said to the team, do you know how we struggled to get the Treble? We were eight or nine points behind Arsenal.

“With all the problems and injuries we had. It’s normal, that’s why we gave credit to the Treble.

“The same team right now, before the game against Wolves, were one game off the best start ever for this Club.

“At the international break we were top.

“We faced Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa, they’re top teams, and it can happen.

“We didn’t deserve to win against Villa, I don’t need time to reflect.

“I don’t need ‘oh maybe we can do this’. We have to do it all together and if Kevin is here, yes, if not, okay.

“Or maybe Rodri’s not here, so I have to find a way when he’s not there.

“Last season he was almost always there so I have to find a way.”