Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said Raheem Sterling must be content to fight for his place in the team.
Sterling admitted he'd be open to a move away from the Premier League champions if it meant getting more minutes on the pitch.
The 26-year old has started just 16 of City's last 33 games, dating back to March and told the Financial Times' Business of Sport US summit this week, "If there was the option to go somewhere else for more game time I would be open to it."
Guardiola addressed Sterling's comments on Friday, while admitting to being somewhat taken aback by them.
"I didn't know it," said the City boss, "I didn't think the club knew.
"Raheem is our player, hopefully he will be an incredibly important player for us. I don't know if he wants to play more.
"Like Riyad [Mahrez] doesn't play and he doesn't complain, Joao [Cancelo] when he doesn't play and he doesn't complain.
"I cannot assure them, they know it, I cannot assure how many minutes each one plays. Always they have to speak on the pitch. That is the best moment. Not Raheem, all of them.
"They know they are going to play minutes, I'm not a guy who only plays 11 players, all of them are involved.
"What I want from Raheem and everyone is they have to be satisfied to be here and delighted to be in this club.
"If that's not the case he has to take the best decision for his family, for all the people who love them. They have to be happy.
"More game time I understand completely, I was a player, all the time I wanted to play. Not just Raheem but all of them want to play every game but I cannot assure them.
"They have to improve every training session and be there on the pitch and be happy there."
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League visit of Burnley, Guardiola said Sterling - and the rest of his squad - needs to be prepared to scrap for their place in his starting XI each week.
"I said many times. You have to be there and fight and be good every day," the Catalan told reporters, "After in the transfer windows you decide, when it's finished, you have to accept my decisions.
"I'm the manager, I decide what's best for the team. I don't make decisions for the player.
"I'm thinking the best for the team to win games, to make happy the fans, the organisation. Be proud of what you do. It's the only situation."
Meanwhile, Guardiola revealed that Ferran Torres could be out for up to three months with a metatarsal injury.
It was originally thought the Spanish forward would miss only six weeks after sustaining the injury in his country's Nations League semi-final win over Italy last week.
Guardiola said Torres will be out for between two-and-a-half to three months as a result.