In a sensational twist in the Toure row, the Ivory Coast midfielder has sought a peace deal with Guardiola by saying sorry to the manager for remarks made by his controversial agent, Dimitri Seluk.
Guardiola had told Toure in September that he would not play for City again unless Seluk apologised for claiming the Catalan had “humiliated” his client by omitting him from the club’s 25-man Champions League squad.
Toure’s only appearance for City this season under Guardiola came in the second leg of City’s Champions League play-off at home to Steaua Bucharest on Aug 24.
A truce seemed unlikely when Seluk responded by telling Guardiola he would only apologise if the manager said sorry to Joe Hart for his treatment of the goalkeeper, who was sent on loan in the summer, and Manuel Pellegrini, whom he replaced as manager.
” Those statements do not represent my views on the club or the people who work there.
I have nothing but respect for Manchester City and only wish the best for the football club.”
But Seluk has now agreed to back down at Toure’s request in the hope of striking a “new relationship” and the player took the extraordinary step this morning of issuing a full apology.
There has always been a suspicion that Toure’s exile suited Guardiola because he does not believe the 33-year-old – whose £220,000 a week contract expires next summer – fits in his place. But Guardiola has always maintained that he would welcome back Toure if an apology was forthcoming so the latest move puts the onus back on the manager.
In his statement, issued on his Twitter and Facebook pages, Toure said:
“I wish to apologise – 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.
“Those statements do not represent my views on the club or the people who work there. I have nothing but respect for Manchester City and only wish the best for the football club.
“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.”
Seluk had claimed last week that he had tried to contact Guardiola but had been unable to reach the Catalan, who refused to answer when asked about the situation before City’s 3-1 Champions League win over Barcelona on Tuesday. “No answer,” was Guardiola’s curt reply when twice asked about the subject.
In a fresh interview, Seluk told the Daily Mirror last night that Toure had asked him to resolve the situation amicably.
“I have spoken to Yaya in the last few days and he has asked me to make the peace with Pep,” said Seluk. “I agreed with him that I had to do what I could to make the situation better because Yaya and Manchester City have been caught in the crossfire.
“Some City fans and some of Yaya’s team-mates have contacted me to say that a way forward must be found. I am genuine in what I say. I really do hope this can be a new start and that Yaya can help Manchester City to win more trophies.”