It's vital Sterling stays at City, says Guardiola

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He has over two years remaining on his current contract, but City told Sky Sports News in December last year they meant to open discussions with him over a new deal. "Maybe other clubs are now interested in him because he is playing so well but he knows how important he is to us".

Manchester City's 4-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park in January 2016 was not only the heaviest of Guardiola's managerial career but left the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss anxious whether his total football methods could work in the Premier League.

The attacker has rapidly developed under the guidance of manager Pep Guardiola, and he has proved to be one of the most prolific midfielders in front of goal in England this term. Goodison is always a tough ground, the Manchester derby is going to be very, very hard and we know how well Tottenham play at Wembley.

The 23-year-old impressed in England's 1-1 draw with Italy on Tuesday that saw City defender John Stones taken off with concussion. "There is no doubt we have to keep him".

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"We have had a three-week break, and plenty of time to review our games this season against Liverpool", he said.

Victory over Everton on Saturday would set City up for the derby clash with Manchester United the following week - where a win would see them crowned champions. "But I have still tried to prepare for Everton as if it is the most important game of the season".

"We have to know, everybody has to know, that we [have to be] in our best levels or you can not overcome those stages", he said.

He had said: "In Madrid, I don't have the confidence a player needs".