Toure apologizes for agent's comments
Hasn't played for City since August 24
Seluk claimed Guardiola "humiliated" Toure
Left out in the cold by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, four-time African footballer of the year Yaya Toure has apologized for comments made by his agent in an attempt to build bridges with the English Premier League leader.
Despite earning a reported $300,000 a week, Toure has yet to play in the Premier League this season and was also excluded from City’s Champions League squad for the group stages.
City manager Pep Guardiola said he wouldn’t play the Ivory Coast international until his agent, Dmitri Seluk, apologized for his comments. In an interview with the Daily Mirror in September, Seluk said City’s manager had “humiliated” Toure after the midfielder was dropped from the team for a Champions League qualifying match.
Now Toure has published a statement saying that the remarks “do not represent my views on the club,” and that he has “nothing but respect for Manchester City.”
“I wish to apologize – on behalf of myself and those who represent me – to the management team and all those working at the club for the misunderstandings from the past,” the 33-year-old said Friday.
“I am immensely proud to have played a part in the club’s history and want to help City succeed further. I live to play football and entertain the fans.
“On that note, I would like to thank all of the fans for their messages through this difficult period. This means a great deal to me and my family.”
However, Seluk said Friday that he would not apologize – and suggested Toure was trying to broker “peace” with Guardiola.
“Maybe Toure has apologized for this, but I don’t know for what,” Seluk told UK radio station talkSPORT.
“I think Yaya doesn’t mean this. He wants peace between him Guardiola. We’ve made our steps now and we will see what Guardiola will do.
“We want to make peace between Guardiola, Yaya and me for the supporters, the team and for the results.
“For Manchester City, the fans and for football, it is important Yaya plays because he is a top player.”
After joining Manchester City in 2010 from Guardiola’s Barcelona for £24 million (then worth around $36 million), Toure was a key player as the club lifted the Premier League trophy in 2012 and 2014.
Having retired from international duty for Ivory Coast in September, Toure was told he is free to leave City in January.
Guardiola, who took over from Manuel Pellegrini after three years at Bayern Munich, won his first 10 games in charge of the club.
However, a 2-0 defeat by Tottenham was followed by two draws, and City is level on points with Arsenal and Liverpool at the the top of the EPL table ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Middlesbrough.