Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure was not included in the squad that travelled to the Netherlands for the Champions League game at Feyenoord for “sporting reasons,” manager Pep Guardiola has said
Guardiola again omitted Toure from his squad for City’s Champions League opener against Feyenoord and the Ivory Coast star has yet to play a single minute this season.
Guardiola handed Toure, 34, a new 12-month contract at the end of last season, but is understood to be unhappy with his performance levels in training and has challenged him to improve.
“I spoke with him and he knows the reason why, but it’s between him and me,” said Guardiola.
“It’s a sporting decision. He 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 and Toure have had a fraught relationship at times. The coach sold the midfielder to City when he was at Barcelona, and last season refused to play him after critical comments from agent Dimitri Seluk.
But Toure apologised and became a key member of Guardiola’s squad, earning a new deal, and the City boss said he remains part of his plans.
Asked whether Toure would play soon, Guardiola said: “Hopefully — it depends on the player.
“I’m always happy, but of course I demand as much as possible. I want more — not just from Yaya, I want more from everyone.”
Vincent Kompany has also been left behind because of a calf injury but goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is in contention despite suffering a facial injury in Saturday’s 5-0 victory over Liverpool.