Pep Guardiola says Yaya Toure's Manchester City absence down to 'sporting' reasons
By James Dale
Last Updated: 12/09/17 9:10pm
Pep Guardiola refused to reveal why Yaya Toure is not in Manchester City's squad, but says the player "knows the reason why".
Toure, 34, signed a one-year contract at City in the summer, but is yet to feature for the first team this season and is not in Guardiola's squad for their opening Champions League game against Feyenoord on Wednesday.
But pressed on why Toure has not been part of his plans, Guardiola said: "I spoke with him, he knows the reason why. But it's between me and him.
"It's just a sporting decision. Yaya was so important last season. Six players finished contracts last season, the only one who stayed is Yaya, because he is a special player.
"But the decision why he hasn't played this season and is not in the squad - he knows the reason why."
Toure has experienced a turbulent relationship with Guardiola since the Spaniard took charge at the start of last season.
Dimitri Seluk, Toure's agent, claimed his client had been "humiliated" by Guardiola after the former Barcelona manager left the midfielder out of City's Champions League squad last September, leading to the Man City boss refusing to select Toure in his line up.
Toure later apologised in November for "the misunderstandings of the past"and his committed attitude in training was enough for Guardiola to recall him.
But asked on Tuesday if Toure will return to the squad in the near future, Guardiola added: "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."
Vincent Kompany has also stayed behind in Manchester after the centre-back suffered a calf injury while on international duty with Belgium this month.
Kompany, 31, made just 15 appearances for City last season as he struggled with injury, but Guardiola insists there is no doubt about his long-term future at the club.
"He has a contract, it depends on him," said Guardiola.
The City boss also confirmed he will wait until Wednesday to decide on whether Ederson will play in the match against Feyenoord, after the goalkeeper returned to training wearing protective headgear following his clash with Liverpool's Sadio Mane at the weekend.