Manuel Pellegrini has supported his difficult decision to leave Stevan Jovetic out of Manchester City's Champions League squad by saying that it is best for the club.
Jovetic was omitted from the squad on Thursday in order to make way for new January signing Wilfried Bony, who will take part in Sunday's AFCON final.
Difficult but right decision
It was by no means an easy decision for the Chile manager but he feels he made the right call, as he confirmed whilst speaking to the Manchester Evening News.
"It's always difficult to take a player out of the list. But we have restrictions this year," the ex-Real Madrid boss said.
"We bought Bony because we need another striker - a box player. And in the position of Jovetic maybe we have lots of other options.
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"It's a difficult decision but I think it's the best for the squad."
"It's a difficult decision but I think it's the best for the squad"
However, Pellegrini believes the move does not signal the end of Jovetic's stay at the Etihad, who has been strongly linked with a return to Serie A. The Montenegrin forward has been specifically mentioned with regards to a potential switch to Juventus in the past, but his manager isn't of the opinion that it's the end.
"I don't think that one thing is linked with the other," he added.
"It's very important for Stevan to try to play now until the end of the season. To try and play as much games as he can, try not to be injured and have a high performance every time he plays.
"At the end of the season we analyse not just with Stevan but also with the rest of the squad which will continue next year."