Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne says he ‘understands’ Raheem Sterling being frustrated at his inconsistent playing time.
Sterling recently emphasised his desire to play abroad at some point in his career with Barcelona reportedly interested.
Consistent playing time has been hard to come by for the attacker this season, which sparked his comments last week.
“If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it. As I said football is the most important thing to me,” he said.
“Challenges that I have set myself from a young age and dreams as well. As an English player all I know is the Premier League and I’ve always thought, you know, maybe one day I’d love to play abroad. See how I would come up against that challenge.”
The 26-year-old started against Burnley on Saturday afternoon as City won 2-0, but he failed to score or assist.
He has featured in all of City’s league games this term but has only completed 90 minutes on two occasions. His only goal in 11 matches in all competitions so far came in a 5-0 win against Norwich in August.
The battle for a starting berth in Pep Guardiola’s squad is intense considering the amount of talent oozing through the squad.
However, De Bruyne admits he can understand Sterling’s frustrations.
He told a news conference before City’s Champions League encounter against Club Brugge: “Rotation is important because playing four competitions and mostly going far in them, it’s a tough ask sometimes.
“I understand the frustration because I’m a player and you have some players who need more rhythm to get into it and maybe Raz [Sterling] is someone who needs more, I’m a player that needs that also. Sometimes it’s tough to play one game yes, one game no.
“Obviously it’s the manager who has to make choices and it’s very hard. We have a group of 22, 23 internationals who are unbelievable. Whoever you pick, you will be right a lot of the time. Whenever the team plays good there’s not a lot you can’t say as a player.”