Pep Guardiola suggested Premier League players discuss upcoming team selections with rivals amid Aston Villa’s complaints over leaks.

Villa boss Dean Smith was left seething after news of several players removing the injured Jack Grealish from their fantasy football sides seeped out on social media.

It became clear that Grealish would not be available for the weekend defeat by Leicester after a twitter account ascertained that three players and two staff members transferred the captain.

Smith has since banned his squad from taking part in the online game and while admitting he was unaware of fantasy football, Guardiola claimed anything to the detriment of teams ought to stop.

‘I know the players play these games but I don’t know what fantasy football is,’ Guardiola said. ‘I’ve never played it and I heard it for the first time yesterday on Sky.

‘Sometimes you make a team selection and players are friends with other teams and they talk about what you do. Sometimes it happens, it’s incredibly unethical and unprofessional but you cannot control everything.’

Manchester City are back in Champions League action on Wednesday night, a last-16 away first leg against Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest.

They head to Hungary missing only Nathan Ake, with last season’s shock quarter-final defeat by Lyon still fresh in their minds, but Guardiola insisted he is not interested in the past. They have never reached the last four under the Catalan.

‘I’m not a big fan of saying that experiences help you,’ he said. ‘All the times when we went out we were in high level, we were so close.

‘Against Tottenham (2019) and Lyon (2020), we were better but we were out. We have to play good but the desire is there, what do we have to do to beat them – no more.

‘And after that we see the second leg and then onto the quarters if we are good enough. No more expectations than that. It’s just this game.’

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