Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said anyone who leaks team news before games is “unethical and unprofessional.”
Aston Villa launched an investigation after news broke that midfielder Jack Grealish had suffered an injury in training prior to his clash with Leicester City.
– Stream games and replays LIVE on ESPN + (US only)
Villa has also called for his players to no longer play fantasy football after some team members removed Grealish from their teams ahead of the loss to Leicester, seen as an indicator that the English international was going to be lost.
Guardiola keeps his picks close to his chest, but the City boss said he would look down on anyone caught leaking information.
“I know that players play these games, but I don’t know what fantasy football is,” Guardiola said. “I never played it and first heard it in the headlines [on Monday]. I do not know what it is
“Sometimes there is a national team, and the players are friends with players from other teams and they talk. Sometimes it happens. It is unethical and unprofessional, but it can happen.”
Guardiola spoke as he prepares his team for the Champions League round of 16 tie with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday. He has won the competition twice before, while in charge of Barcelona, but has never made it past the quarter-finals in four years at City.
“Every time we went out, we were at a high level and very close,” Guardiola said. “We have to play well, and the desire is there.
“After that, we watch the second leg and then to the quarters if we are good enough. There are no more expectations than that.”
A remarkable 18-game winning streak has propelled City to the top of the Premier League table and raised the possibility of quadrupling if they can clinch the title, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League this season.
It would be an unprecedented feat in English football, but midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said the chance to make history is not on the players’ minds.
“It’s nothing I’ve thought about until you brought it up and nothing I’ll be thinking about,” he said. “If it’s going to happen, I’ll take it.”