Aymeric Laporte was left out of Athletic Bilbao’s matchday squad to face Eibar on Friday night amid speculation of a possible move to Manchester City.
The 23-year-old centre-back has been a virtual ever-present for Athletic this season and on Thursday was named in Jose Angel Ziganda’s 20-man preliminary squad for the LaLiga clash.
However, Laporte was one of the two players who dropped out of that group on Friday and took no part in the Basque derby at San Mames.
Laporte has been heavily linked with a £60 million move to Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders ahead of next week’s transfer deadline.
The City boss was quizzed about his side’s supposed interest in the defender during his news conference on Friday, but was giving little away.
He said: “He’s a player for Athletic Bilbao. I didn’t speak about previous players here. You will know if it happens. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”