Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said on Friday he could not confirm Raheem Sterling’s normal playing time after the winger said he was determined to leave the Premier League champion.
Sterling said he would look at the chances of “going elsewhere” after pulling down Manchester City and starting just two of seven games to defend their title this season.
The England team made the remarks at the FT Business of Sports US Summit on Thursday and Pep Guardiola and Man City were shocked.
Asked about his response, the City manager said: “I can’t confirm (the players) and they know. I’ve talked about this a lot. I’m not sure how many minutes each player will play. They always have to talk on the grass., On the pitch.
“What I want,” said Guardiola, “is for Raheem and everyone to be happy. They should be content to be here, they should be happy to be in this club.
Sterling is vying for a place in Man City’s three-man squad with five players: Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Ferran Torres, and Jack Grealish.
Sterling’s chances of seeing more minutes in the short term improved after Ferran Torres returned from international duty with Spain injured on his right foot.
Pep Guardiola said that would keep the player forward for 3 months.
It convicts Torres of Spain’s crucial World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Sweden next month.