Champions League

Guardiola tight-lipped on Toure's return

2017-09-13 11:15
Yaya Toure (Getty)

Cape Town - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has insisted his decision to leave Yaya Toure at home for their UEFA Champions League opener at Feyenoord was a "sporting" one.

The 34-year-old midfielder finds himself out of the picture for the second season running, having yet to feature for Guardiola's side in 2017/18.

Toure was left out in the cold initially last term for refusing to apologise for comments made by his agent about Guardiola.

He fought his back into the first team during the festive period and was rewarded with a new one-year contract.

The former Ivory Coast international was omitted from the City squad for their trip to the Netherlands, and Guardiola refused to explain his absence when pressed by the media.

"I spoke with him and he knows the reason why. But it's between him and me," the Spaniard said in his pre-match press conference.

"It's just a sporting decision. Yaya was so important last season. We had six players finishing their contract last season, the only one who stayed was Yaya, because he's a special player, but the decision is that he didn't play the last games, he was not in the squad, but he knows the reason why."

Asked if Toure would return to the fold in the coming weeks, Guardiola says that it depends on the midfielder.

"Hopefully, it depends on him. All of them (City's players) are happy but I demand as much as possible, I always want more, not just from Yaya, but from them all," he said.

Kick-Off on Wednesday against Feyenoord starts at 20:45 SA time.

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