Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was last night charged by the Football Association after appearing to elbow West Ham’s Winston Reid.
Aguero must answer a charge of alleged violent conduct following the incident during City’s defeat of the Hammers at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The 28-year-old has until 6pm today to respond and could face a three-match ban, which would rule him out of the derby against Manchester United on September 10, if found guilty.
The off-the-ball incident, which occurred in the second- half of City’s 3-1 win, was not seen by referee Andre Marriner or other officials during the game. It has since been reviewed by a panel of former elite match officials, all of whom agree the matter would have been a sending-off offence.
New Zealand defender Reid was later seen holding his throat and captain Mark Noble said after the game his team-mate “can’t really talk”.
A statement from the FA read: “Sergio Aguero has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.
“The Manchester City forward was involved in an incident with West Ham United’s Winston Reid in the 76th minute of the game on Sunday (August 28, 2016). He has until 6pm on Wednesday 31 August to reply.”
A three-match ban would also include a Premier League game against Bournemouth and an EFL Cup trip to Swansea.
Aguero had made a superb start to the season, scoring six times in his first three appearances including a hat-trick in a Champions League play-off win at Steaua Bucharest.
But the player also has injury concerns having withdrawn from Argentina’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela with a calf problem. City are still to learn the full extent of that injury.
Meanwhile Joe Hart last night was putting the finishing touches on his loan move to Italian club Torino.
Hart took a short break from England’s World Cup camp to complete a loan move to Serie A.
Hart’s agent Jonathan Barnett confirmed the move after the Football Association said on Monday the goalkeeper had been given permission to temporarily leave Sam Allardyce’s squad for the opening World Cup qualifier in Slovakia on Sunday.
Barnett was quoted as saying by www.tuttosport.com: “Yes, Joe Hart will play with Torino. It’s done.
“The player said yes to the club and also Manchester City have given the green light. It is all true. (On Tuesday) Hart will have a medical in Turin.”
Hart is third choice at City following the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona, but has retained his place in Allardyce’s first England squad.
Hart has won two Premier League titles at City and been their first choice for most of the past six years but new manager Pep Guardiola has made clear his preference for a keeper who is better with his feet. The move could help safeguard his England place. Hart seems to have chosen Torino ahead of reported interest from Sunderland. Everton, and Sevilla last week distanced themselves from reports linking them with the former Shrewsbury keeper.
The 29-year-old is expected to complete the formalities of a season-long loan move to Torino on Tuesday.
Asked about Hart’s club situation on Monday morning, Allardyce said: “If there is anything in the pipeline, then hopefully Joe will tell us ‘this may happen’ and we can get ready for it.”
Hart’s departure could be one of a number from the Etihad Stadium before tonight’s transfer deadline.
City have spent around £170 million (€200m) on new players since the arrival of Guardiola in the summer and now seem to be switching attention to outgoing deals.
Playmaker Samir Nasri, who made a surprise substitute appearance against West Ham on Sunday, has been linked with Sevilla and Beskitas while defender Eliaquim Mangala is reportedly a target for former club Porto. Striker Wilfried Bony’s future is also uncertain.
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