WATCH: Man City defender 'regrets' being filmed kicking man in the head during street brawl
Manchester City defender Jason Denayer has said he was defending a friend after being caught up in a street brawl in Brussels.
Footage has emerged on social media of the Belgium international, who spent the past season on loan at Sunderland, kicking out at a man who is punching another man on the ground.
Jason Denayer, Brüksel'de bir sokak kavgasında. pic.twitter.com/nqNabptWRg— Owl Press (@OwlPress) May 24, 2017
The incident occurred outside a nightclub sometime after dawn on Sunday morning.
Denayer, 21, says he and his friend were leaving the nightclub when his friend became caught up in an argument which developed into a fight.
Two different video clips of the incident are circulating but the longest version shows Denayer initially reluctant to intervene and only does so after his friend is pinned to the ground.
In a statement released by his management company, Denayer said: "Of course I regret to have been caught up in a conflict that was not mine to begin with.
"I was heading towards my car when I heard a friend screaming out in the street. I ran back when I saw how a man threw my friend on the ground and sat on top of him while hitting him badly.
I saw that my friend was in real danger and I had to interfere. I reacted instinctively, as my only purpose was to protect my friend."
The footage then shows more people becoming involved in the fight. It is understood that Denayer, who is a teetotaller and was to drive his friend home, then managed to break free along with his friend. They encountered some difficulties reaching the car but managed to get away.
Denayer had been back home in Belgium for the weekend but is now in Dubai on a pre-planned holiday.
The player's agent, Jesse De Preter, has stressed the importance of understanding the full story rather than making judgements from an eight-second clip of the incident which is being widely circulated.
De Preter said: "The images shown in the video are just a part of the story. Jason has explained to us in detail how things have played out and we have no reason to doubt his words.
"Jason was not initially involved in the fight. His reaction was to help out his friend and get the aggressor to stop. It was a case of instinctive protection in what was clearly an emergency situation."
De Preter added Denayer was not facing any charges while City have declined to comment on the matter.