Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has insisted that he has no intention of pushing Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany out of the club.
Reports on Friday linked the Argentine international with an exit, fresh after he was left on the bench for City’s crucial Champions League showdown with Barcelona on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Kompany was left out of the squad entirely, with the Belgian defender still looking to put his injury woes firmly behind him and prove his fitness before getting back into the starting line-up.
However, Guardiola has responded to the speculation and dismissed any talk of either player leaving the Etihad Stadium any time soon.
“I think I took decisions with my plans and my plans for Vincent and Sergio Aguero are that they have a future at Manchester City,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.
“Vincent Kompany was not fit, was not perfectly fit. That’s why we took a decision. Normally Vincent Kompany is on the bench. He was not fit.
“Respect to Sergio Aguero – it was a decision, a tactical decision. I wanted one more midfield player in the middle with Kevin De Bruyne.
“I am sorry, when Sergio decides to leave Manchester City, it will be his decision. I appreciate like a football player and like a man what he did here.
“Next time before you give this opinion you can call me before you decide he’s not in my plans, you can call me before you write he’s not in my plans.”
City are in the midst of a four-game winless streak as they prepare to face Southampton on Sunday, and although the speculation above was unwanted by Guardiola, he will have to focus himself and his players on the task in hand and avoid their dip in form extending any further.
As for Kompany and Aguero, it remains to be seen whether or not they feature this weekend, but based on Guardiola’s comments above, it sounds as though both men still have big roles to play for the Spanish tactician moving forward regardless of what the media suggest.