Manchester City’s coach Pep Guardiola, has opened up on his surprise at Raheem Sterling’s comment that he is open to leaving the Cityzens, to seek more game time and said the forward can move if he wants.

The 26-year-old forward who joined City from Liverpool for £49m in 2015, has less than two years left on his contract at the Etihad.

Speaking at the FT Business of Sport US summit, Sterling said: “If there was an opportunity to go somewhere else, (for more game time), I would be open to it at this moment in time.”

“As I said, football is the most important thing to me, challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well, to play abroad.”

“As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I have always had something down in me that maybe one day I would love to play abroad to see how I would come up against that challenge.”

Reacting to Raheem Sterling’s comment in a press conference ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League game against Burnley, Guardiola said: “I didn’t know it and I think the club neither,” he said.”

“Raheem is our player, hopefully he will continue to be an incredibly important player for us. I don’t know if he wants to play more game time like Riyad Mahrez, who doesn’t play and he doesn’t complain, like João Cancelo doesn’t play and he doesn’t complain.”

“Some players complain because they want to play all the time. I cannot assure them, I spoke to them many times about that. I cannot assure how many minutes each one plays. Always they have to speak on the pitch. Not Raheem, all of them.”

“They know they are going to play minutes. I’m not a guy that plays only 11 players; all of them are involved.”

Sterling has started one Premier League game since the beginning of the 2021/2022 season. He was a key fixture in the the England Senior National men’s team that reached its first major final in 55 years at this year’s Euro 2020 competition.