Monday 28 January 2019 23:02, UK
Pep Guardiola admits a decision is still to be made over Vincent Kompany's Manchester City future.
City captain Kompany is out of contract at the end of the season and while his playing abilities and ambassadorial duties off field are undisputed, his recurring fitness issues are a concern.
Kompany, who has been hampered by injuries in recent seasons, has played just 14 times for City this season and is currently sidelined with the muscular problem that has bothered him since the latter stages of the January 3 victory over title rivals Liverpool.
City manager Guardiola said: "I think it's an issue that we have to speak with Vincent about - the club, him and his agent.
"We don't have any doubts about his quality, we miss him when he is not able to play. He's important, he is our captain and on the field he gives us extra that few central defenders around the world can give us.
"He's incredible - but the reality is in the last five years he's played few, really few. So that is the situation we have to put on the table and the club will discuss it with his agent and make the best solution for both."
Kompany, who joined City from Hamburg in 2008, captained the club to three Premier League triumphs and there is a strong the bond between him and the club.
Guardiola insists he has no intention of severing that and any parting of the ways would only occur if the player wanted it.
He said: "I would like to feel that the club knows the sentimental issue is so important. It's not important for making decisions, but (it is) for the players who have been here a long time and helped us to build what we are right now.
"We cannot forget what they have done. I don't like the clubs to say, 'OK, it's done, go'.
"But, at the same time, there is a moment when it's over for everybody. That's why I said it's not my decision. In those cases, like him, like Sergio (Aguero), like David (Silva), like Mr Toure in the past, it's a decision for them to make together with the club."
Guardiola has no doubt there will always be a role for Kompany at the Etihad Stadium.
He said: "He has something special, to represent the club in the best way - on and off the pitch. He can speak five, six, seven languages and he communicates quite well and we need him. People who represent us are important."