Guardiola in agreement with rival Solskjaer over Premier League substitutes rule

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged the Premier League to show more "intelligence" and reintroduce the five substitute rule to protect the health and fitness of all top flight players.

The rule came into force when last season resumed following lockdown due to Covid-19, to ease the burden on stars who had not played for three months.

Plans to extend the rule into the new campaign were then dropped at a Premier League shareholders meeting in August, with clubs voting to revert back to the usual three subs per game.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has slammed the decision and believes it will have a damaging effect on players' physical and mental state.

Now Guardiola has come out in support of his Manchester United rival and called on football rulers to do the sensible thing before it is too late.

Guardiola, who has seen the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero succumb to injuries so far this season, said: "Definitely they should bring it back, 100 per cent.

“It's not about one club, the statistics don't deny that the Premier League has 47 percent more muscular injuries. The priority for most of the teams, with the amount of games, all the leagues have to protect the players, not just one team.

"They can reconsider and do what the rest of the world does, because we have to adjust due to the pandemic and other things. Intelligent people adjust – football is about the players."

Guardiola, meanwhile, has insisted he has no intention of considering a shock return to Barcelona.

Barca presidential frontrunner Victor Font admits he wants to build a new dynasty at the Nou Camp – and would like Guardiola to mastermind it.

But despite failing to sign a new contract at the Etihad, Guardiola has dismissed the suggestion and he added: "I'm incredibly happy here, delighted to be happy here and hopefully I can do a good job here this season and to stay longer."

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