Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City’s decision to sell Raheem Sterling after the winger admitted that he was “raging” at the manner of his exit as he joined Chelsea.
City have seen Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Sterling all join Premier League rivals this transfer window as the club showed their ruthlessness this summer. All three players moved to the capital with both Jesus and Zinchenko reuniting with the club’s former coach and current Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta.
Since the departure of Fernandinho in the summer, Sterling was the club’s longest-serving player – a title which has now been passed on to Kevin De Bruyne. Although there was no bad blood between the player, Pep Guardiola or the club – the Chelsea man admitted his frustration at how the situation that led to his departure developed.
In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Sterling said: “Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different. When you play your heart out, sacrifice some of your kids’ birthdays, and then get treated in a certain way, it’s disappointing.
“At the time I was fuming, raging, but it’s gone, it’s in the past and I can only focus on the present.
He was also pressed about the main reasons behind his departure this summer, Sterling said: “Misunderstandings, contracts running down. It was a shame to see how it ended in the end because I had such a great time there.”
After these comments came to light, Guardiola was asked about the departures this transfer window as the City manager shared his thoughts on keeping unhappy players at the club.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of City’s 3-3 draw against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday, he said: “If you force one person to stay when he doesn’t want to stay how can you get the best from him? It’s impossible.