Pep Guardiola has rejected a suggestion from Raheem Sterling that he should join Chelsea due to the lack of playing time at Manchester City.
Sterling moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer and will return to the Etihad with his new team in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (US)
The England winger indicated he had to move because his chances at City were “limited”, but Guardiola insists that was not the case.
“We’ve worked here together for six years every day, we work, we play a lot of matches, the most important of them,” Guardiola said at a press conference on Tuesday. “He played probably the most important game we played in the Champions League final, he was there. If he’s happy we’re happy.”
Sterling spent seven years at City after arriving from Liverpool in 2015. He won four Premier League titles and six other domestic titles, and Guardiola is hoping the 27-year-old will enjoy a positive reception when he returns to the Etihad.
“I hope so, and I certainly hope so,” Guardiola added. “I always love the clubs when they welcome players who have been here for many years and have been a key figure, an important role in our squad in all these years.
“We may forget what happened last month, but that’s not the reality of the last six or seven years he’s been here. He’s worth it and I hope the same will happen to Gabe.” [Gabriel Jesus]. We want to beat them, of course. In England people appreciate it.
“Thank you very much, I wish him all the best and hope he is happy.”