LOS ANGELES — Nicolas Otamendi says Manchester City teammate Gabriel Jesus has forgiven him after the Brazilian was left with a broken eye socket when they faced each other in a national team friendly in June.
Gabriel was taken off the field on a stretcher late in a friendly between Argentina and Brazil in June after being caught by a stray elbow during an aerial challenge with Otamendi.
The Brazilian has recovered in time to join up with the City first team on their preseason tour to the United States and Otamendi says the striker understands it was an accident.
“It’s all good with Gabriel. We had a great game and I actually spoke to him in the locker room after the game,” Otamendi, speaking at the launch of City Football Group’s joint venture with Goals in the United States and Canada, told reporters.
“We’re all good as teammates — we’re used to being able to compete tough on the field and obviously it didn’t work out for him. But it’s good.”
Otamendi will be part of a new-look defence when City kick off the Premier League season next month. Manager Pep Guardiola has already added three new full-backs and a goalkeeper Ederson to his squad with potentially a new centre-back set to arrive before the transfer window closes.
The 29-year-old is excited by the new signings even if it adds even more competition for a starting place.
“It’s always positive when there’s this much competition,” he added. “It doesn’t allow for any of the players to relax, you always have to give 100 percent.
“It makes it complicated to choose the starting XI but that’s why we need to have a strong preseason.
“This season, obviously we’ve got good quality players and that’s always a great thing to have. The ultimate goal is to get titles. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that last season so that’s a big goal for us.”
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.