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Pep Guardiola dismisses rumours of row with Raheem Sterling

Sterling

Pep Guardiola has rubbished suggestions that he has fallen out with Raheem Sterling.

Eyebrows were raised when Raheem Sterling was left out of Manchester City’s squad for Saturday evening’s win over Fulham, three days after the English forward was an unused substitute against Southampton.

With no game-time for Sterling over the past two matches, rumours began to circulate on social media that the 26-year-old had had a row with Guardiola.

Sterling

Guardiola dismissed such rumours and insisted that Sterling will travel with his City teammates for Tuesday night’s Champions League clash against Borussia Monchengladbach, which City lead 2-0 from the first leg.

“He travels with the team for tomorrow of course. All the squad travel to Budapest,” Guardiola told Manchester Evening News.

Pep Guardiola

“Raheem and all the players always train and react very well. I don’t expect the guys who are not selected are happy. It is normal.

“It has happened since football was created. Raheem in this case has been so important and is so important.

“All the players respect my decisions. I never found in my career one player who was happy when they don’t play, but they react and behave really well.”

Sterling took to Twitter on Sunday to make it clear that there was no rift with his manager.

Guardiola insisted that Sterling’s social media statement wasn’t necessary and reiterated that the former Liverpool forward simply wasn’t picked for recent games.

“He doesn’t need to do it – nothing happened,” Guardiola said. “He was not selected, that’s all. Sometimes during the season, for example when we travelled to Stamford Bridge, we had 14 first team players and then it is easy to make the selection and everybody is happy.

“When you have 20 top-class players who have had incredible success, it will always be unfair on them. That is the point.

“I now have 20 players, I trust them, I love them, they are the main reason why we are in the position where we are in the Premier League and Champions League and Carabao Cup and FA Cup. They are the reason why. I understand completely why they don’t play.”

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