But Guardiola denied it had anything to do with his contract stand-off.
"I have said many times how important Leroy has been for us in good or bad moments. He knows the reason why he hasn't played lately," he said.
"We spoke often with him - myself and my people - on and off the pitch and we want the best. Of course there is competition from the other ones, and in some specific games we need it, and in some specific games I prefer a type of player to have more control but my admiration and trust with him is intact. It's there but I always want more."