Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists he had playing plans for Cole Palmer this season.
City will face Palmer and Chelsea today after the midfielder’s August sale.
Guardiola revealed: “I said to him ‘Riyad Mahrez is leaving, you are going to get a chance here’.
“He said ‘No, I’m not going to play here, I want to leave’ so I said ‘OK, leave'”
The manager continued: “We’d never stop a deal because of that. Why, if the transfer suits both clubs and the player? That means you are a small club.
“Big clubs make decisions for the benefit of all three parties. If a player wants to go to Chelsea or [Manchester] United or Liverpool, what is the problem if they are happy to be there and we are happy with the transfer? Another player comes here and we keep going with a good spirit.”