Pep Guardiola has welcomed Yaya Toure’s apology for agent Dimitri Seluk’s outbursts against him, describing it as “good news for Manchester City”.
Toure posted a statement on Facebook, saying sorry “on behalf of myself and those who represent me” after inflammatory comments made by Seluk in the wake of the midfielder being left out of City’s Champions League squad prompted Guardiola to rule out selecting him for first-team matches.
Seluk was on typically erratic form on Friday, conducting a radio interview with talkSPORT to insist he would not apologise to Guardiola despite earlier pledging in an article in the Daily Mirror never to criticise the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss in public again – his desire to “make the first step towards peace, respect and friendship” seemingly paving the way for Toure’s post.
But Guardiola has chosen to focus on the player’s step towards a detente and confirmed to a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Middlesbrough at the Etihad Stadium that he held talks with Toure earlier that morning.
“I spoke with Yaya today, of course it’s a private conversation. It’s good news for Manchester City,” Guardiola said.
“Yaya is in all our meetings and all our training sessions. I spoke with him and it’s good, that’s all.
“You knew the situation. Nothing has changed. I answered about Yaya. I don’t want to answer any more. You knew the situation.
“Now we focus on Middlesbrough.”
City head into that match aiming to retain their status as Premier League leaders, following the considerable high of a 3-1 comeback win over Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“It’s good to beat the best team in the world. I know how difficult it is,” Guardiola said.
“To beat them, they demand to achieve another level with our game. Now we have to focus.”
Guardiola will be reunited with a familiar face when his former Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes lines up for Boro, while compatriot and ex-City striker Alvaro Negredo is expected to lead the visitors’ attack despite being without a goal since the opening weekend of the season.
“Valdes is one of the best goalkeepers,” the City boss added. “The success at Barcelona would not have happened without him.
“I am very happy for him.”
On Negredo, he added: “I know how good he was here in the first part of the [2013-14] season.
“After injury he had a few problems. I saw Middlesbrough against Arsenal and was really impressed.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!