Mendy says he’ll be back for Champions League semis

‘Ajax need miracle to beat Ronaldo and Juve’ – Neres

Benjamin Mendy has set his sight on an April 2018 return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained in September.

Mendy required surgery on the injury he picked up in Manchester City's 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace.

And despite facing a long road to recovery, the 23-year-old is optimistic of playing plenty of football this season as he eyes a place in the French squad for the World Cup.

Mendy, who signed for City from Monaco in a deal worth £50million, in July, told The Times: "I told Pep (Guardiola) after I got my results I would only have surgery if he promised me City would be in the Champions League semi-finals when I come back.

"That is our checkpoint. That is where we will meet again.

"I want to get back fit as soon as possible.

"I want to play in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup, the Champions League, the FA Cup, and there's no doubt in my mind that I will play in the World Cup.

"You know what I'm like when I play with City, I always have a smile on my face and it's the same with my rehab."

The first leg of this year's Champions League starts the 24–25 April 2018, with the second leg on the 1–2 May 2018.

One reason for Mendy's upbeat mood, is the location of his recovery – in Barcelona where he has a personal chef catering for his every need.

Mendy added: "I've brought my chef Simone Bertaggia with me. He stops around the corner from the flat I'm staying in in the city centre.

"I built up a good relationship with him when he was head chef at Monaco last season. When I left Monaco, I said to him 'you're coming with me', and he did. He's the best cook in the world."