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Frustrated Foden determined to become Man City regular despite Bundesliga interest

22:30 GMT 27/03/2019
Phil Foden Manchester City 2018-19
The 18-year-old recently aired some frustrations regarding his first-team opportunities at the Etihad Stadium but he is determined to stay at the club

Phil Foden is determined to fight for a regular place in the Manchester City first team next season despite keen interest from a number of Bundesliga clubs, Goal understands.

Foden, 18, has been part of Pep Guardiola's senior set-up for more than two seasons and has made eight first-team starts during the current campaign.

He is yet to be named in the starting line-up for a Premier League match, however, and the midfielder recently hinted that he is frustrated with his opportunities at the Etihad Stadium.

“It’s good just to get some minutes, you know, because at my club I don’t really get many,” he told reporters after he started for England Under-21s against Poland last Thursday. “It’s just good to get out there and play football. I am still young, 18 years of age, so to get minutes was good for me. I lost quite a bit of fitness but it’s coming back slowly.

“That was due to not playing. I have been trying to do extra after training but it’s nothing like playing a game, it’s totally different. Hopefully I can get it back.”

Foden signed a new six-year contract at City in December and Guardiola insists the midfielder will not be going anywhere while he is in charge at the club.

City have rejected a number of loan moves from clubs in England and Europe in the past 18 months, and it is understood that some of Germany's leading sides are still closely following the midfielder's progress.

Borussia Dortmund swooped in to sign Jadon Sancho from City in 2017 and have shown interest in Foden, while RB Leipzig are believed to be serious admirers. Both would be keen to take him on loan, at least, if the opportunity were ever to arise.

But Goal understands Foden has no desire to entertain any approaches, even if there is lingering disappointment at his relative lack of minutes so far.

His hopes of increased first-team involvement could also be aided by the possible departure of Ilkay Gundogan this summer, as the Germany international's contract expires in 2020 and he has so far rebuffed City's attempts to agree fresh terms.

Guardiola has previously insisted that Foden has played "incredible" minutes this season and promised that he will play more in the future.

"Of course he can play more minutes but he could play less," the Catalan said earlier in March. "We cannot forget he is 19 years old [sic] and it's the first season he’s played incredible minutes in the first team.

"He's played a lot of minutes and he'll play more in the future. The process has to be calm. How many young players go immediately to the international team and after that disappear from the map? We want him to stay 10 seasons or 11 or 12 with us, playing regularly, and every season he will be stronger and stronger. He's an incredible talent but he still has a lot of things to improve. It's simple for his age. At his age, he needs time to grow."

There are fewer than 30 18-year-olds to have played top-flight football in Europe's top five leagues this season, and of those only six have played more than 1000 minutes.

Foden has played 876 minutes so far in 2018-19, including 75 minutes in the Community Shield.

Sancho, who turned 19 on Monday, is top of the list with 2311 minutes played for Dortmund.