Pep Guardiola issued a brutally honest apology to out-of-favour Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
Speaking in his press-conference Guardiola says he is “so sorry” for Phillips’ lack of game-time.
The 28-year-old has started just once this season and rumours have began to circulate about a possible January exit from the Etihad.
The Spaniard praised the England international’s attitude and application but admitted he has “visualised” the team’s style of play and “struggles” to see Phillips’ involvement.
When asked about Phillips’ future Guardiola admitted: “I don’t know. I feel so sorry for my decisions on him. I am so sorry for the minutes I haven’t given him.
“It’s just because I visualise something, where I struggle to see him in the team. I am so sorry. I will not say that, because I have to be ruthless.
“If it was someone, who [made a fuss] I wouldn’t care. For the way he behaved with the team-mates, I care about him.”
Moreover, Guardiola provided an update on Kevin De Bruyne’s recovery from a hamstring issue suffered against Burnley on the opening day of the Premier League season.
The Belgian is back on the grass, though hasn’t yet trained with his first team colleagues.
De Bruyne was named in City’s Club World Cup team for later this month but his manager said that he might not be ready to play in time for it.
Guardiola said: “[He has] started to run on the pitch but hasn’t trained once with us. Maybe the [Club World Cup] will be a little bit early but I don’t know.
“Kevin will be back when he is, we don’t rush him and when he’s back we will welcome him with open arms. We were top not so long ago but now we played Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs & Villa – top teams.”