Pep Guardiola admits 'incredible' Vincent Kompany could leave Manchester City over lack of matches

Club captain is out of contract at the end of the season, and despite 'no doubts about his quality', the defender's persistent injuries have restricted his contribution in recent years

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Vincent Kompany of Manchester City arrives during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester City at John Smith's Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said Vincent Kompany's lack of games in recent seasons means the club captain's future is far from assured, with the central defender's contract set to expire this summer.

Kompany, 32, has made 257 Premier League appearances since joining City from Hamburg in 2008, but the Belgium international has missed significant spells due to a string of injuries.

When available, Kompany has consistently been City's most important defender, helping the club to three Premier League titles, three League Cups, and the 2011 FA Cup, but injury has once again limited his contribution to nine league games this season.

Fully aware of Kompany's abilities and influence, Guardiola admitted that the defender's lack of matches is a problem when weighing up his City future.

"He's incredible, but the reality is in the last five years he's played few, really few," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Tuesday's league trip to Newcastle United.

"We don't have any doubts about his quality, we miss him when he is not able to play. He's important, he is our captain and on the field he gives us extra that few central defenders around the world can give us.

"That is the situation we have to put on the table and the club will discuss it with his agent and make the best decision for both."

While Kompany has played a pivotal role on and off the pitch to City's sharp rise under the ownership of Abu Dhabi's City Football Group, Guardiola said any decision to extend the Belgium defender's contract should not be made on sentiment alone.

"The club knows the sentimental issue is so important," Guardiola added. "It's not important for making decisions, but they have to feel, especially for the players who have been here a long time and helped us to build what we are right now.

"At the same time, there is a moment when it's over for everybody."