Toure won't play again until he says sorry to Pep

LONDON • Pep Guardiola will not pick Yaya Toure again for Manchester City because of comments made by the player's agent.

Dimitri Seluk claimed Toure, 33, had been "humiliated" after being left out of the English Premier League side's Champions League squad.

The agent also said Guardiola should apologise to the midfielder if City did not win the competition without him.

The City manager said at a press conference yesterday, on the eve of the launch of their League Cup defence at Swansea, that Toure, who has just retired from international football with the Ivory Coast, would only play again if he received an apology.

"If he has a problem he should speak to people at the club," said Guardiola.

"But the day after, his manager went to the media. He (Toure) has not had the courage to call me.

SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE

I cannot imagine when I was a player that my manager would go to the media and speak against (ex-Barca coach) Johan Cruyff and say about this and that.

PEP GUARDIOLA, on Yaya Toure's agent Dimitri Seluk grousing to the media about his predicament at Man City.

"I cannot imagine when I was a player that my manager would go to the media and speak against (former Barcelona coach) Johan Cruyff and say about this and that.

"Maybe it is a new period and things are changing... In the old generation, the manager has to make his job and the player his job, trainer his job."

Guardiola is desperate to keep a lid on expectations after City's supreme start to the season. They have won their eight games in all competitions - a club record - and preserved their two-point advantage at the Premier League summit with a razor-sharp 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

"I'm happy people are saying positive things about my team but that's not happening because of me. It is what my players are doing," he said.

"We are going to try and win the EFL (League) Cup - we will play some players who don't have the opportunity to play that often."

Captain Vincent Komany, who has been absent with a thigh injury for four months, is likely to feature today. So too Fabian Delph, who is ready for a return after an Achilles tendon injury.

Swansea were left a point above the relegation zone following a 0-1 loss to Southampton on Sunday. The result increased the scrutiny on coach Francesco Guidolin and, with a league game against City to follow before a visit from in-form Liverpool, the Italian faces a testing run of fixtures.

"I am worried because my job is my job and it is my attitude to be always ready if it's possible," said Guidolin, whose club won the League Cup in 2013. "We have to improve. The opponent is not important, but our attitude is."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SWANSEA V MANCHESTER CITY
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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Toure won't play again until he says sorry to Pep'. Print Edition | Subscribe