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Guardiola hints on Sterling exit talk

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LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City speaks with player Raheem Sterling during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on September 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

“Raheem is our player and hopefully will be an important player for us

Sterling admitted this week he would consider leaving Manchester City and moving abroad.

Speaking at ,http://FT Business of Sport US summit, Sterling said: “If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else, (for more game time), I would be open to it at this moment in time.

“If I want my happiness at a certain level I need to be playing football. I need to be scoring goals and enjoying myself.”

The 26-year-old has struggled to hold down a regular place in Guardiola’s side this calendar year, and has started just twice in this season’s Premier League.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City replaces teammate Jack Grealish during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on October 03, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

When asked for his view on Sterling’s comments, Guardiola said: “I didn’t know [about] it, and I think the club didn’t either.

“Raheem is our player and hopefully will be an important player for us. He wants more game time – like Riyad [Mahrez] when he doesn’t play, they complain, when Joao [Cancelo] doesn’t play, [he] complains.Some players, they complain when they want to play all the time.

But I cannot assure how many minutes every player is going to play. Always they have to speak on the grass, on the pitch. That is the best moment. Not just Raheem – all of them. They know they are going to play minutes.

PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City at Parc des Princes on September 28, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

I’m not a guy who only plays 11 players and that’s all. All of them are involved. What I want from Raheem and everyone is to be happy – they have to be satisfied to be here, they have to be delighted to be in this club.

“If this is not the case, they are free to take the decision that is best for them – for the players, and their families. This is the most important thing.

“It’s not just Raheem but all of them want to play every game, 90 minutes but I cannot give them that. I cannot assure them. They have to prove every training session on the pitch and try to be happy there.”

City face Burnley on Saturday before a Champions League away tie at Club Brugge on Tuesday

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