MANCHESTER — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists Kevin De Bruyne doesn’t have a release clause in his contract, but said the player was not for sale anyway.
The Belgium midfielder signed a new contract in January, which keeps him at the club until 2023 and Guardiola denied telling a Spanish journalist about his buyout clause.
“I don’t know what his release clause is,” he told a news conference. “The journalist asked if we’d sell for €250m and I said no. But it’s my personal opinion. In England there are no release clauses, you have to negotiate for the club.”
De Bruyne is recovering from a knee ligament injury picked up in training, which is expected to keep him out until November, although Guardiola says his recovery is “progressing well.”
Raheem Sterling, meanwhile, is in contention for Saturday’s game with Fulham after recovering from a back injury that ruled him out of both of England’s matches. The forward is in the final two years of his contract with reports suggesting he wants a £100,000-a-week pay rise to sign a new deal.
Sources at the club have told ESPN FC that there are no concerns over contract talks but Guardiola has reiterated that he wants Sterling to stay.
“It’s well-known that we’re delighted with him and would like him to continue,” the City boss said. “The club knows my opinion and we share that and after that it is [up to] the club and Raheem’s agent. I’m outside, I’m not involved.
“Sometimes this kind of thing needs time. It’s important that Raheem and his people know how delighted we are with him and after that maybe it happens or maybe not.”