Yaya Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, has ordered Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to apologise to his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini and to loaned-out goalkeeper Joe Hart, adding he is prepared to “war” with the Spaniard.
Guardiola recently warned that Toure, 33, would never return to the City side if Seluk did not apologise for his accusation that the former Barcelona manger had “humiliated” the midfielder by leaving him out of the Sky Blues’ UEFA Champions League squad, per James Ducker in the Telegraph.
Far from meeting Guardiola’s request, Seluk has responded in combative fashion, saying he will only grant the 45-year-old’s wish on a number of conditions, per Sky Sports News HQ:
I will apologise to Guardiola if he will apologise to Pellegrini for what he did to him. If you are a gentleman this just does not happen.
He signed a new contract last year then he gets pushed out for Guardiola to come in. Pellegrini was a gentleman.
Guardiola also needs to apologise to [Hart]. It’s not right to come to England and then get rid of a few English players. Guardiola wants a new future for Yaya, for Hart, and they won’t be the last.
Well, what do I need to apologise for?
If Pep Guardiola wants a war, then he can have one.
Toure has not played a minute of Premier League football so far in the 2016-17 season, and Guardiola has made it clear that Seluk’s stance is holding his client back, per Bleacher Report UK:
It seems likely that the midfielder will follow Hart out of the City exit door in January, with Juventus and Inter Milan both reportedly interested in signing him, per Raimondo De Magistris of TuttoMercatoWeb.
Hart was replaced as the City No. 1 by new signing Claudio Bravo shortly after Guardiola’s instalment as Sky Blues manager in the summer, and the Englishman is currently on loan at Italian side Torino.
His demotion was met with complaints that Guardiola was being too harsh on the England international, per the Daily Star’s Luke Gardener:
However, it was a move that chimed with Guardiola’s historic treatment of high-profile characters within the clubs he has managed, per Ben Hayward of Goal.
Toure has already been jettisoned from one squad by Guardiola. He was sold to City from Pep’s Barcelona in 2010 after the manager opted for Sergio Busquets as his preferred central midfielder.
It seems very possible that it will now happen again, as was predicted by many when Guardiola was announced as Pellegrini’s successor back in February, per Jamie Jackson in the Guardian.
City fans will likely have few complaints, as Toure’s form has been declining over the last two seasons.
Similarly, unlike Seluk, few City fans were aggrieved to see the back of Pellegrini, a manager who, while impeccably mannered and likeable, failed to get the best out of a hugely talented squad.
Only five matches into the new Premier League season, Guardiola looks to have turned City into the premier force in English football—they have a perfect record so far in the 2016-17 campaign.
The likes of Toure, Hart and Pellegrini have not been missed, and Seluk is unlikely to have his demands met by a manager who seems almost universally adored at City.