After new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola left Yaya Touré off City’s Champions League roster, Touré’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, said his client was humiliated:
“If he wins the Champions League for City this season then I will travel to England and I will say on television that Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the world.
“But if City don’t win the Champions League then I hope that Pep has got the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya.”
Touré has yet to play for City since then, and this morning Guardiola explained that the midfielder won’t until Seluk apologizes:
“I accept if Mr. Dimitri Seluk came in a press conference or (spoke to) his friends in the media — because he has not the courage to call me — and apologized to Manchester City, his teammates, and the trainer,” Guardiola said.
“When that happens, Yaya will be part of the group and he will have the same chance to play all the games.”
“I spoke out because I felt that Pep was being vindictive to Yaya.
“Unfortunately for Pep, we live in a world where you have the right to free speech.
“He has reacted to what I have said about him by punishing Yaya again. But I’m not surprised.”
“Pep doesn’t want players with personality. He only wants players who are scared of him and will do what he says.
This is far from the first time Seluk has talked some shit about the club or Pep Guardiola. In fact, it happens so frequently that Touré clearly approves of it; either explicitly by asking Seluk to agitate on his behalf or implicitly by not telling Seluk to cease agitating on his behalf. And when Touré was marauding up and down the pitch, dragging City to victories, it was worth putting up with.
But Touré is 33, his lack of defensive discipline made even worse by his laziness, and he doesn’t fit in Guardiola’s system. Except in an injury crisis, Touré was never going to jump ahead of six or seven other midfielders on the depth chart to play in even mildly important games.
And by continually complaining, Seluk has actually made Guardiola’s job even easier. Guardiola has already cast aside one club legend in Joe Hart; it’s possible he would’ve give Touré some game time just to ward off accusations that he was discarding another club legend. Instead, Touré and his agent have made it abundantly easy for the Manchester City board, players, and fans to take Guardiola’s side, and speed Touré’s eventual exit for one last big payday in China or the United States.