Pep Guardiola has delivered two updates on both the fitness and contractual situation of Kevin de Bruyne on Friday afternoon, as the Manchester City boss faced the media ahead of the Premier League clash with West Ham on Saturday afternoon.
The Belgian midfielder missed out on the Champions League last-16 first-leg clash against Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest on Wednesday night, with some fans raising concerns over his fitness - after he played the best part of an hour during City's 1-0 win over Arsenal the weekend prior.
However, Guardiola has provided an encouraging update on the fitness of De Bruyne when questioned ahead of the weekend on Friday afternoon.
The Catalan boss said, "He's fully fit. He was fully fit against Gladbach as well. I'm not going to say any differently to how key and important player he is for us. In the last part of the season, he will be so important."
When questioned on the ongoing situation surrounding the 29-year-old's contract at the club, Guardiola reassured fans that there is no rush given the time remaining on his existing deal with the club.
However, he did admit that he did not know the particular reason behind the delays in the contract negotiations, despite some reliable sources suggesting that the most recent proposal from Manchester City was deemed undervalued by De Bruyne and his entourage.
Guardiola said, "I don’t know why it’s taking Kevin [De Bruyne] long to sign a new contract, but I’m not involved and he still has two or three years on his current contract."
Manchester City take on David Moyes' high-flying West Ham side, in what is in essence a top of the table clash, with the Hammers currently lying in a Champions League place and enduring a very encouraging season thus far.
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