Guardiola refuses to play Toure until his agent apologises

September 21 – Behind-the-scenes tensions between clubs and agents are commonplace but the impasse between Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and the representative of Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has burst into the public domain.

Guardiola is refusing to play Toure until his agent, Dimitri Seluk, apologises for criticising the decision to leave the player out of the club’s Champions League squad.

But Seluk told Sky: “Why must I apologise to Guardiola? I don’t know the words I must apologise for because I didn’t do anything.”

“I spoke out because I felt that Pep was being vindictive to Yaya,” added Seluk who apparently has a history of outrageous outbursts. “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.

In a bizarre spat, Seluk says he will apologise only if Guardiola respectively says sorry to his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini for taking his job and to England goalkeeper Joe Hart for freezing him out and loaning him to Torino.  “If Pep Guardiola wants a war, then he can have one,” Seluk said.

“He was the same at Barcelona. He forced Samuel Eto’o to leave the club. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player who cost £57 million, was sold for just £18 million. It has to always be about Pep Guardiola, no-one else. Will I apologise? Well, I have learned that you must never say never. But will Pep apologise to Yaya? Will he apologise to Joe Hart or Manuel Pellegrini?”

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