Pep Guardiola has rejected talk of a rift with Raheem Sterling after the Manchester City star was left out of their win over Fulham.
The runaway Premier League leaders breezed to a 3-0 victory against the relegation-threatened Cottagers on Saturday despite Sterling’s omission from the squad.
Sterling was quick to dismiss speculation of disharmony between him and Guardiola in a post on Twitter.
He wrote: “Some crazy rumours on socials today… That’s absolutely FALSE. Looking forward to a big week with the team.”
And Guardiola indicated all is well in their relationship, insisting it is normal for players to be dissatisfied at not being involved.
“He travels with the team for tomorrow of course. All the squad travel to Budapest,” the City boss said ahead of their Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.
“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.
Some crazy rumours on socials today… That’s absolutely FALSE. Looking forward to a big week with the team. Have a good night lads
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) March 14, 2021
“It has happened since football was created. Raheem in this case has been so important and is so important
“He [Sterling] doesn’t need to do it [dismiss the rumours]. Nothing happened, he was not selected, that’s all.
“Sometimes during the season when we travel to Stamford Bridge, we had 14 players and the rest from academy, that’s easy to do the selection.
“When you have 30 players, top-class players, incredible success in the past, recent past, present, always it will be hard for most of them.
“That is the point. I have 20 players, I trust them, I love them, they are the main reason we are in the position we are in the Premier League, Champions League, final for the Carabao Cup, FA Cup.
“They’re the reason why, I understand completely, that game he was not selected, another game with other players, it’s no more than that.”