Leroy Sane has struggled to get regular game time for Manchester City in recent weeks, and manager Pep Guardiola has explained why.
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Despite impressing in the early part of the season, Sane has only started three of the last 11 games for the Citizens.
Riyad Mahrez has often been preferred in recent weeks, while some reports claim the stalling over contract talks could be the reason for his reduced role.
"I have said many times how important Leroy has been for us in good or bad moments," Guardiola was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"He knows the reason why he hasn't played lately. We spoke often with him - myself and my people - on and off the pitch and we want the best."
"Of course there is competition from the other ones. In some specific games we need it and in some specific games I prefer a type of player to have more control.
"My admiration and trust with him is intact. It's there, but I always want more."
Guardiola was also quick squash any claims the German winger is being punished over not signing a new deal yet.
"Gundogan would not play if that was a reason why," he said. "Gundogan has one year left and doesn't want to extend so he would not play and he plays ahead of Kevin De Bruyne," he added.
"I take the decisions on the pitch, what I believe in that moment, what I feel, and take a decision."
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