Ronald Koeman says Ousmane Dembele must decide his own future amid talk of a possible move to Manchester United from Barcelona.
United are said to be interested in signing the France international on loan, having been frustrated in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.
Koeman left Dembele out of the starting line-up for Thursday’s 3-0 win at Celta Vigo and chose to bring on Pedri, Francisco Trincao and Ronald Araujo as attacking reinforcements off the bench.
With Monday’s transfer deadline looming, Koeman suggested Dembele could leave if he wants to pursue more regular football.
“I can’t say much more on this topic,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“I always try to bring the maximum performance out of the team and, if there are changes, it’s for a reason.
“If Pedri has come on in the last two games, it’s because of his work in training. The other day, Trincao and Pedri came on because they deserved to.
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“I haven’t spoken with him about his future. Everything depends on the player. I haven’t spoken with him on his future, but there are a couple of days left before the market closes.
“We have a lot of competition in attack. There’s a lot of quality and there is Ansu [Fati], Konrad [de la Fuente], Dembele, [Antoine] Griezmann and many more in his position. There’s competition. Ansu Fati is ahead of Dembele.
“I want to have a happy squad. He might be annoyed for not playing – that’s perfect – but if he doesn’t want to be here, he has to tell me.
“I will count on him and he will have chances to play if there’s nothing, if there are no movements.”
Koeman also confirmed he would like to bring in Eric Garcia from Manchester City before the deadline.
Garcia refused the offer of a new contract at the Etihad Stadium and will be free to leave for nothing next year.
Manager Pep Guardiola said on Friday that there was no agreement between City and Barca but that he was not sure whether the centre-back would be staying in England for now.
“It’s true we want to have this player here because we only have three or four centre-backs, but I can’t say anything more,” said Koeman.
“I’ve also seen Pep’s comments from City, there is interest, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to get him.”
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