Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has confessed he understands team-mate Raheem Sterling's frustration over a lack of minutes.
Sterling recently admitted that he would be 'open' to leaving City in search of a more permanent starting role, saying that he would not rule out a move overseas if the right opportunity arrived.
The star of England's Euro 2020 run was in and out of Pep Guardiola's starting lineup last season, with his form taking an obvious dip because of that, and he has started just three times in the Premier League so far this year.
"Obviously rotation is important because we are playing four competitions," De Bruyne said of Sterling's situation (via Sky Sports News). "It's a tough task sometimes.
"But I understand the frustration because I'm a player and some players need more rhythm to get into it. Maybe Raz is somebody who needs that more. I'm personally a player who needs that also.
"Sometimes it's tough to play one game, one game not, but obviously it's the manager who has to make choices. It's very hard. We have 22, 23 internationals who are unbelievable, so whoever you pick, you will be right a lot of the time.
"Whenever the team plays good, there's not a lot of things you can say as a player. But we also try to help each other - that's the only thing we can do as players."
Sources have confirmed to 90min that City have made it clear to Sterling that they will not stand in his way if a suitable offer for his services arrives, but the Premier League champions would prefer him to stay and fight for his place in the team.
His representatives are understood to be chasing up previous interest from Barcelona, who have voiced a desire to bring Sterling in on loan with a view to a permanent deal further down the line.