The war of words between Yaya Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has intensified after both parties demanded the other apologise.
Since joining City, Yaya has been one of their top players and has featured in numerous ‘Team Of The Year’ squads. He has also been judged as Africa’s best player four times over the course of his time at the club. He has made over 260 appearances for the Citizens and registered 75 goals.
However, the arrival of Pep Guardiola to Manchester City immediately raised questions about his future. The duo were together for period of time at Barcelona, but Guardiola insisted on playing Sergio Busquets in place of the Ivorian in his preferred dee-midfield role. Yaya was subsequently sold to Manchester City for a reported fee of £24 million.
The Ivorian was linked with moves to Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan this past summer, but refused in order to stay and fight a place in the team. His agent was reported to have said earlier in August, “This is a very good process for Yaya. It will allow him in training and then in matches that he is still a wonderful player. But there is no talk of a transfer. Yaya will stay and fight.”
Guardiola dropped Yaya Toure from City’s Champions League squad upon his arrival, which led to his agent Dimitri Seluk saying that the Spaniard had absolutely ‘humiliated’ his client and should publicly apologise if City didn’t win Europe’s greatest competition. According to BBC Sport, the Spaniard insisted that Yaya and his agent would have to apologise to him, if he wanted to play for City again. He is also reported to have said that the 33-year-old didn’t have the ‘courage’ to call and speak to him. He said, “He must apologise. If he doesn’t, he won’t play. If he has a problem, he should speak to people at the club.”
In response, Toure’s agent spoke to Sky News and has insisted he had nothing to apologise for, saying, “What do I need to apologise for? Guardiola wins a few games and he thinks he is king.” He went on to say, “Okay, 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.” The Chilean, who had a successful time at Manchester City after taking the reigns from Roberto Mancini in 2013, had signed a new contract a year before and Seluk claims that he got pushed out because of Guardiola.
Seluk didn’t stop there, and further stated that the former Bayern Munich manager should apologize to Joe Hart for the way he was treated prior to his move to Torino. “Guardiola also needs to apologise to Joe Hart. It is not normal and it is not right to come to England and to get rid of the few English players. When you come to a country you must respect the country and respect its people.” The 29-year-old Englishman was ousted from City and Claudio Bravo was brought in from Barcelona as his replacement. Despite making nearly 350 appearances for the club and helping them to every major domestic honour in the past 5 years, Hart didn’t fit the profile of the kind of goalkeeper that Guardiola wanted and was sent packing to Italy after being dropped in favour of Willy Cabellero.
Since joining the Citizens from Barcelona in the summer of 2010, Toure has gone on to become on the best players in the world and one of the greatest to don the blue colors of Manchester City. He helped them usher in an unprecedented era of success, helping them win 6 trophies in 5 seasons.
Along with the likes of Aguero, Silva and Hart, Toure has helped make City a top European force to be reckoned with and his agent made sure to remind everyone of it. “When Yaya went to Man City, they could only dream about the Champions League. The biggest stars in Europe did not want to come to City, but Yaya came. They weren’t a big club. After he arrives they started winning; two league titles, cups and now the semis of the Champions League,” he said.
He further added however, that he wanted Manchester City to win everything, as it would mean more trophies for his client. He went on to say, “City have great players, but Guardiola wants new future for Yaya, for Hart…and they won’t be the last.” He said he had more respect for managers like Ranieri, who win without spending vast sums of money on players.