Manchester City are willing to let Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling go as they know the desire of players to be selected regularly, confessed Pep Guardiola.
The pair are set to leave the Etihad this summer with the former closing in on a £45m switch to Arsenal. Sterling meanwhile is of interest to Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel targets new forward recruits. Both have been hugely successful at City, but neither are guaranteed starters.
Sterling has previously been a regular, but in recent seasons Guardiola has been more willing to rotate and the Englishman has missed out as a result. He’s been overlooked for several big games and is now weighing up his future. Jesus has long struggled to establish himself as the No 9 with Erling Haaland now arriving.
City’s star-studded squad means they have the luxury of several players in each position, but Guardiola insists not selecting certain individuals never gets easier. He told Vision de Lideres: “We coaches, in each game, in addition to choosing who will play, we have to tell 11 players they will not play. We tell some players they will not play and those players feel that you’d don’t love them. That is the hardest because in this life everything we do is to feel loved.
“They who are here, with their families, most of them outside their countries, to play their profession, and you tell them that they will not play. That is impossible to fix. The only thing you can do is redirect through the word, tell them that they will play the next game.”
Guardiola previously echoed those comments when he allowed Ferran Torres to leave City back in January. The Spaniard had only spent 18 months in Manchester but was the subject of interest from Barcelona. The Catalan was clear that players who wanted to pursue other opportunities should be allowed to.
He claimed: “If you want to leave because you’re not happy here, you believe you’ll be happy in another place, you have to go. The career is short, one day it’s over. If he wants to leave, absolutely no disappointment. It’s his desire, I’m happy for him.”
City have decisions to make this summer with player exits leaving them to seek replacements. Argentine youngster Julian Alvarez is another attacking option who has arrived along Haaland. On the flanks the likes of Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish are pushing for starts.
Guardiola though is determined to keep hold of Bernardo Silva, whose desire to leave Manchester is well documented. The Portuguese star has been a leading light for City despite links of a move away.