Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City may not be able to prevent Real Madrid snapping up highly-rated youngster Brahim Diaz.
“We want him but today the market is the market – the wishes from the clubs, maybe we cannot control it,” he said.
“I know – because we spoke with him many times – the commitment from that guy, Brahim, to stay here and play for Manchester City because Manchester City gave him the opportunity to start to compete in the high level. He grew up, his family are happy here, but you never know.
“We are going to try, of course, to hear him but he has to know at Madrid, Dortmund, here, the top level, it is not easy to play. In the end it will be decided by his performances on the pitch.”
City have faced increasing criticism over their failure to provide clear route from their celebrated academy to the first team.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insisted this summer that talents such as Sancho, Diaz and Phil Foden would not have their prospects blocked by expensive signings.
But Sancho became the first of that highly-rated trio to break ranks when insisting his development would be better served at Dortmund.
Guardiola added: “It depends on the desire of the player.
“Of course the clubs with huge talented players make the effort to keep them with the salary. We did it with Sancho, with Tosin (Adarabioyo).”
Interest from Real could prompt City to offer Diaz improved terms on the deal he signed last season.
Guardiola insists he will have no control over his contract.
“Many clubs here the managers control these things,” he said. “But I am not involved in that.
“Txiki (Begiristain) and Feran (Soriano) take the decisions and speak with the managers (agents).”