Pep Guardiola has apologized to Riyad Mahrez for not giving much playing time this season.
The midfielder has not started a Premier League game since the victory at Southampton on 30 December.
"I am the reason. He is absolutely not guilty," said Guardiola. "I am sad because he is training incredibly. He is an incredibly talented player but in this moment we have five strikers.
"We have incredible players, like for example Bernardo (Silva) and Raz (Sterling) in top, top form and that is the only reason why. There's no particular reason, like being upset or something like that.
"He is a guy we are happy with but unfortunately I am not kind with him. In fact, I cannot give him the minutes he deserves, so I'm sorry. That's all I can say."