Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy was arguably the world’s most expensive defender back in July after being bought by Man City for £52 million for his services.
Described as “one of the world’s best full-backs” and “our number one target in this position” by City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain, the acquisition of Mendy – who was 23 at the time – was a real coup for Pep Guardiola.
However, almost two years later and the France international has only managed to make 18 appearances for City.
Mendy missed most of his debut season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee but still made enough appearances to pick up a Premier League winners’ medal.
He then picked up a World Cup winners’ medal months later, as part of the France squad that triumphed in Russia last summer, and hit the ground running for City at the start of the current campaign.
In his first four Premier League appearances, Mendy registered an impressive five assists. City looked even more dangerous on the left-hand side with the Frenchman bombing down the wing.
However, injuries have once again severely limited his game time since.
Mendy hasn’t played a league game for City since the 3-1 win over Manchester United back in November.
But it’s not just the vast number of games Mendy has missed for City that may convince Guardiola to offload the World Cup winner in the near future. It’s also his conduct.
Mendy antagonised Guardiola by turning up three hours late for treatment on his toe injury in September. He’d spent the previous night in London watching Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight boxing title fight against Alexander Povetkin.
Then, in February, he caused a stir by pretending he was in Hong Kong – without City’s permission – much to Guardiola’s ire.
And now, two months later, Mendy has been told by Guardiola to get his priorities straight – per the Telegraph – after he was spotted in a nightclub at 3:30am, hours before he was due to attend a training session.
Having confirmed that Mendy trained on Saturday, despite clubbing until the early hours of the morning, Guardiola said: “I would prefer him to go home earlier but I don’t control the players in that situation. They are old enough to know what they have to do. I’m not his father.”
Asked if he was frustrated by Mendy’s behaviour, the City boss added: “Not frustrated. I’m a relaxed guy. It might not look like it but I sleep quite well.”
It wouldn’t be a shock if Guardiola has already made up his mind to move Mendy on this summer.
This latest incident may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.