Pep Guardiola has warned Vincent Kompany he won't just walk back into the Manchester City side when he returns from injury.
Kompany is closing in on a City comeback following a thigh injury but Guardiola says the Belgian defender must fight for his place.
He told reporters: “They have to compete with each other and we’ll see on the pitch what is the best for that game. That is the best way to arrive in April or May with a chance to fight to win the titles.
“We need the players competing with each other. They have to know if they don’t play good that there’s another one beside me and the next time he is going to play.
“That’s the only way to arrive at the end of the season, fighting. I need Vincent because I know his quality. I need him to put pressure on John Stones, Nico Otamendi, (Aleksandar) Kolarov – all of them.”
Kompany suffered his injury during City's Champions League semi-final loss to Real Madrid last season and missed Euro 2016 with Belgium as a result.