Roberto Mancini says winger Scott Sinclair’s future could lie away from Manchester City and it would be better for him to leave after a frustrating year at the Etihad Stadium.
Sinclair, a £6.2 million signing from Swansea on transfer deadline day in August, has started only two league games for City, both in September.
The 24-year-old has played just 69 minutes of league football in the last seven months, but manager Mancini insists he, not the player, is to blame for the transfer backfiring.
Sinclair has suggested that he needs to leave in the summer, and Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is considering bringing him back to Wales.
Mancini said: “Scott is young and he has good quality, but this year was difficult for him. It is better if he can have another solution.
“This situation with Sinclair is difficult, because I didn’t give him a lot of chances to play. He is very unlucky.
“It is my fault, not his fault. A young player like Scott, who is a good player, deserves to play always. For him, it was a really difficult year.
“He did everything well, he worked well, he is a good guy, he deserves to play.”
City go to Swansea on Saturday with Mancini hoping his side can seal second place in the Premier League as soon as possible.
“If we win, we can have a chance to play the young players and also the players who play for the second team to play in the last two games,” he said. “For us, it could be important for the future.”