Soccer-City surprised by Sterling's desire to leave, says Guardiola

FILE PHOTO-Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Manchester City - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - October 3, 2021 Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola REUTERS/Peter Powell

(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he was not aware that Raheem Sterling was open to leaving the Premier League club due to a lack of playing time but added he could not provide assurances to any player over a spot in the starting lineup.

Sterling, who is under contract with City until 2023, said he is willing to look for opportunities abroad, having fallen out of favour with Guardiola this season and starting only two of seven league games.

"I didn't know it. I didn't think the club knew. Raheem is our player, hopefully he will be an incredibly important player for us. I don't know if he wants to play more," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

"What I want from Raheem and everyone is they have to be satisfied to be here and delighted to be here. If that's not the case, he has to take the best decision for his family.

"I was a player, I understand completely. I wanted to play. All of them want to play every game but I cannot assure them."

Guardiola added that he cannot favour any one player in his City squad, saying he treats all players equally regardless of whether they are an academy product or an international.

"I have to treat Cole Palmer the same as Kevin De Bruyne," Guardiola continued.

"When it's going well everything is happy. When it's not, the (person) responsible is just me. So I take the decisions (that are) best for the club, not for the players and not for me."

Guardiola said Ferran Torres could be out for two-and-a-half to three months after the forward sustained a foot fracture on international duty with Spain but defender Oleksandr Zinchenko and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan are back in training.

Ederson and Gabriel Jesus will not be in contention for Saturday's game against Burnley, however, after playing for Brazil on Thursday.

City have won each of their last four home games against Burnley 5-0 but Guardiola downplayed his team's record and praised counterpart Sean Dyche, whose side are currently 18th in the league standings.

"Burnley was in this position many times but they always come back because they never give up. The manager plays a certain way, he's a machine doing that," Guardiola said.

"Some teams when they go down go down, they don't they stay and fight... (Dyche) never gives up. The way how he commits to his principles, that's why he stays in the Premier League a long time."

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Soccer-Tuchel hails 'superman' Kante amid injury struggles
Soccer-No team will want to draw Ajax in Champions League, says coach
Soccer-Lawmaker Crouch expects Premier League to 'push back' over regulator
Soccer-Klopp proud of Liverpool's clean sweep in Champions League group
Soccer-Walker red card hurts us for last 16, says City's Guardiola
Soccer-Dortmund crush Besiktas with Reus, Haaland doubles
Soccer-Sheriff salvage draw at Shakhtar in last Champions League group game
Soccer-Liverpool eliminate Milan as Origi, Salah seal comeback win
Soccer-Atletico reach knockout stage with remarkable win at Porto
Soccer-Ajax maintain 100% record as Haller scores again

Others Also Read