David Silva to miss Manchester City trip to Abu Dhabi to spend time with son
Spanish midfielder has been splitting his time between England and Spain following the premature birth of his son
Manchester City midfielder David Silva will not travel to Abu Dhabi with the rest of the squad this week in order to spend time with this prematurely born son, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
Premier League leaders City will head to the UAE capital for a warm-weather training camp following Monday's clash against Stoke City. The Abu Dhabi-owned club have been regular visitors to the Emirates and spent time in the capital during February last year.
However, one of their key players will not be present. Silva announced the birth of his son, Mateo, in January but the boy was born prematurely. The Spain international then revealed on Twitter that his newborn son was "fighting day by day with the help of a medical team".
Silva, who since his son's birth has been in and out of the City team to make frequent visits home to Valencia, will therefore use City's upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi to spend time with his family.
"He's just strong. We've said many times family is the most important thing,' Guardiola told reporters. "He wants to be here but sometimes he needs to go back and see his son – he's doing well – and his wife. But of course, he knows he has to train. At the beginning it was OK but it's a long time without training – you cannot play good.
"He trains alone in Valencia when he goes there. For the game against Basel he decided to go to Valencia but he came back on Thursday to train and he will be ready to play against Stoke City.
"When we go to Abu Dhabi he will stay here and in Spain because, again, family is the most important thing.
"Hopefully he can solve [the situation] as soon as possible, his lovely kid can grow and grow back at home and he can stay with us all days."
Guardiola said he will not rush Benjamin Mendy back after six months on the sidelines following knee surgery however keen he is to play.
The 23-year-old French left-back, who made a big impression in the early weeks of the season after joining City from Monaco, has said he hopes to return to action next month.
But Guardiola wants to err on the side of caution and feels he may have to hold Mendy back for his own good.
"The most important thing after six months is to be careful," Guardiola said. "He believes, 'I am strong, I will come back soon, I will play like I did before the injury.' That is not happening.
"Even if he believes he is strong he is not strong enough. After six months, he has to be careful."
Updated: March 14, 2018 11:03 AM