Guardiola refuses to explain why he has left Yaya Toure at home

Ruben Hill
September 13, 2017

Guardiola said: "I spoke with him, he knows the reason why".

Pep Guardiola has told Yaya Toure it is down to him to force his way back into his first team plans after the Manchester City manager claimed the midfielder has been frozen out for "sporting" reasons.

Pep Guardiola's tempestuous relationship with Yaya Toure appears to have taken another twist ahead of Manchester City's Champions League opener at Feyenoord.

Although Guardiola and his staff had been concerned about Toure before the transfer window closed, there were no available funds to sign a replacement because moves for Jonny Evans and Alexis Sanchez went down to the wire, and no viable targets had been pursued to an extent to strike a deal at short notice.

City will also miss centre-back Vincent Kompany for the game due to a calf injury he picked up during the worldwide break.

Guardiola said: 'Yaya was so important last season. Six players finished their contract and he was the only one who stayed because he's a special player.

Guardiola will make a decision on the fitness of goalkeeper Ederson on the day of the game. "I want more - not just from Yaya, I want more from everyone". The Brazilian has been training wearing protective headgear after suffering facial injuries in a nasty clash with Liverpool's Sadio Mane at the weekend.

"I would understand that [nervous] feeling, but in today's training session there were two or three long balls and he was there".

"He's got on with it straight away", said City defender John Stones, speaking alongside Guardiola. "We will see in the next weeks but I think it will be soon when he comes back and fights to play".

"That shows his character".

Toure was excluded from the City squad for the first months of Pep Guardiola's reign past year, firstly for refusing to leave the club on a transfer last summer and then for comments made by the Ivorian's controversial agent, Dimitri Seluk.

"Everyone has seen his face, the stitches, the swelling, but he's put a scrum cap on and he's training today".

"If you are expecting me to say I am better than Feyenoord, I am not going to say that", he added. "We are Manchester City, we have to win our respect in Europe, and every game in this competition is a chance to do that".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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