Martínez angry with ‘reckless’ Rüdiger after De Bruyne suffers facial fractures

Sport

Kevin De Bruyne suffered an acute fracture of the nose and an orbital fracture to his left eye socket in Manchester City’s 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

The Belgian midfielder has left hospital but faces a wait regarding how the injuries heal before his availability for Euro 2020 can be determined. De Bruyne was injured in a challenge with Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger just before the hour mark in Porto.

“Hi guys just got back from the hospital,” De Bruyne wrote on Twitter. “My diagnosis is acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture. I feel okay now. Still disappointed about yesterday obviously but we will be back.”

It was initially thought that De Bruyne had been concussed in the challenge, with the midfielder replaced by Gabriel Jesus. City were already trailing to Kai Havertz’s 42nd-minute goal but losing their captain was a significant blow.

Roberto Martínez, Belgium’s head coach, hit out at the centre-back following the incident. “Rüdiger is very, very fortunate,” said Martínez. “When you look at the replay, there’s no clash of heads. He’s properly leaving the shoulder against Kevin. He seems concussed and we will see the state of that. But that leaves a sour taste, because Rüdiger’s holding his head [as if he too was injured] – it’s almost that he wants to show that he’s hiding something.

“For me, it was excessive force and it was reckless. And it should have been a red card. Kevin is not a player that goes down for no reason. You can see the pain and it’s a swollen eye.”

De Bruyne required treatment on the pitch at Éstadio do Dragão before leaving the field in tears. After heading down the players’ tunnel, he reappeared to watch the rest of the final with a visibly swollen left eye. Nose and orbital fractures can take a number of weeks to heal, so De Bruyne’s participation at Euro 2020 is in the balance. It is possible the 29-year-old could return more quickly if we wears a face mask, similar to that worn by Rüdiger in the final. The Chelsea defender suffered a facial injury in the first leg of their semi-final against Real Madrid.

Belgium’s opening Group B match takes place in under a fortnight. Roberto Martínez’s side will face Russia in St Petersburg on Saturday 12 June before games against Denmark (17 June) and Finland (21 June).

In the close season, Pep Guardiola will address the strengthening of his squad and the future of those players whose contracts have only two or less years remaining.

The manager’s prime target is Harry Kane, who wants to leave Tottenham and is open to joining the Premier League champions. Yet Guardiola will be hopeful the pursuit of the centre-forward does not become a summer-long saga due to the difficulty of prising Kane away from Spurs as the 27-year-old is contracted until 2024 and is valued at around £160m.

John Stones has a deal that expires next summer and is expected to sign an improved agreement on a current basic salary of around £100,000 a-week. The defender heads the list of those whose contracts expire in the short-term, with Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy all having deals that end in 2023.

Fernandinho, City’s 36-year-old captain, has a contract that ends at the end of June. He may be offered a fresh 12-month contract.