Since losing his place in Guardiola's starting XI almost 12 months ago, much has been said, and written about Sterling's future at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite cementing himself as one of Europe's top forwards in recent seasons, the England international's form for the Premier League champions has fizzled out, leaving the Catalan manager to drop him to the bench more often than not.
The lack of playing time has frustrated Sterling, who has recently spoken out in the media about needing to see more of the pitch before considering signing a new contract with City, as his current deal is up at the end of the 2022/23 season.
When asked about Sterling's contract situation ahead of the his side's home match against Burnley on Saturday, Guardiola kept his cards close to his chest, as he said: "I'm not involved in the contract (situation). The club decides."
To compound that, Guardiola pointed that Sterling may not be guaranteed the playing time he desires moving forward as he competes with some of Europe's top talents to feature in the lineup.
The 50-year-old added: "For many reasons, I cannot assure anyone, John (Stones), Kevin (De Bruyne), Ruben (Dias), Phil Foden. Raheem (Sterling) in that case is so important for us. He competes with (Jack) Grealish, Foden, Ferran (Torres), Bernardo (Silva), It's the reality.
"It's difficult to take the decision, there's no alternative. The way is to train harder. The moment he (Sterling) is going to play, show you are right - the only thing I knew as a player and manager how to react."
With Ferran Torres picking up an injury on international duty, it could be Sterling's moment to play his way back into Guardiola's starting XI.
City will be looking to get back to winning ways after their enthralling 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Anfield prior to the international break.
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