In quite a turnaround in a matter of few months, Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure finds himself in the fringes of the City squad.
The Ivorian is yet to make an official appearance for the Citizens this season, and when manager Pep Guardiola dropped him from his squad for the Champions League trip to Feyenoord on Wednesday, it was clear that all is not well between the two once again.
In the first part of the last season, Toure was involved in a stand-off with Guardiola, and only when he apologized to his manager, he was given a place in the City squad.
However, following his return to the City squad, he emerged as a key player for Guardiola and went on to make 25 league appearances. As a reward for his performances, the 34-year-old was awarded a new one-year deal by City in the summer.
Nevertheless, it appears that Toure is once again not living up to Guardiola’s standards on the training pitch. When asked about the Ivorian’s absence from his side, the City manager 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.”
When asked whether the veteran midfielder could return to his squad in the near future, Guardiola said: “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.”
The Citizens will begin their European campaign against the Dutch champions on Wednesday night. Besides Feyenoord, the Blues have Napoli and Shakhtar Donetsk in their group, and they would be looking forward to progress in to the next round as group winners.
City will also miss centre-back Vincent Kompany for the game due to a calf injury he picked up during the international break.