Pep Guardiola insists he will restrict some of his Manchester City stars from representing their countries this month if it means they will have to isolate on their return to the club.
With the next international break set for the end of March, concerns are growing among Premier League clubs about the UK government's travel restrictions regarding Covid-19. At present, people returning from countries on a 'red list' have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for ten days.
The red list currently includes Argentina, Brazil, and Portugal, as well as a number of African and South American countries. That could see the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, and Ruben Dias have to isolate and potentially miss fixtures against Leicester, Leeds, and a Champions League quarter-final first leg should City get there.
Naturally, Guardiola is not keen to lose key players for such an important phase of the season, and says discussions will take place with his players next week on whether they will accept anticipated call-ups to represent their countries.
Guardiola said: "We wait this game, maybe next week we'll talk about it. It's no sense when players to go to international teams and come back and for ten days cannot play. It makes no sense.
"We're working incredibly hard during seven, eight, nine months, the break comes at a real important part of the season and important players, six, seven, eight, nine players then cannot train. It doesn't make sense and they are not going to fly, that's for sure.
"If they can fly, if they can come back and train with us they will fly. We spend a lot of hours, time, effort, money. The club invests in that for an important part of the season. If six, seven, eight players cannot play with us, it makes no sense. Honestly, no sense."
Guardiola insisted he wants his players to represent their countries, but will not sacrifice their availability for more than the sanctioned international break, especially given the amount of time they would need to regain full fitness after potential quarantine.
"We want to let them go to the national teams. I know how important it is, I will never say don't do to play for your country to prepare for European Cup or American Cup or whatever," he said.
"But it's no sense, going and after no training for ten days, then ten more days or one week when we play for the league, and just in case we go through in the Champions League and we are without the players. They are not going to fly, for sure.
"If UEFA or FIFA make something special, we will follow protocols in a month. No restaurants, people at home, here, home, here, home. In the bubble, tests every two days, after the league, we won't know what will happen with the red zones.
"If they are 20 days without competitions when we play every three days they will not travel. I am sure all the biggest statements in UEFA and FIFA they will understand this argument."