Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims he would like to pick Yaya Toure for the EFL Cup derby against Manchester United but says there has been no change in their impasse.
Guardiola announced last month Toure would not feature for the first team until he apologised for his agent Dimitri Seluk’s outspoken criticism after the former Ivory Coast star was left out of City’s Champions League squad.
A solitary appearance in the Champions League qualifier versus Steaua Bucharest appears increasingly likely to be Toure’s final appearance of a decorated career at the Etihad Stadium.
Speaking to reporters before Wednesday’s derby match, Guardiola confirmed he would rotate a side without a win in five competitive matches but without calling upon his exiled midfielder, who has tasted Manchester derby victory seven times and scored four goals versus United.
“You know the situation from Yaya,” he said.
“I would like to come [into a game] with Yaya, believe me, I would like. But you know the situation.”
Guardiola is relaxed over City’s recent slump, with his side remaining at the Premier League summit, and he insisted he still has much to learn about the players at his disposal and domestic competition as a whole.
“When I came here with Barcelona and Bayern Munich to play in the Champions League against United or Arsenal or other teams, always I realised how difficult it was,” he said.
“I am still learning. I would like to learn as quick as possible but my feeling now is that I am still learning – not just the Premier League but [about] my team.
“Even when I said before, when we won 10 games in a row, my feeling was we had to make a lot of effort to win the games.
“I said that was not enough to win the Premier League. In the Premier League you win when you win in the tough games but also you win a lot of games without spending a lot of energy.
“That did not happen so that is why I am still learning. I am sorry, I need time.
“I am in the process to know how they react as a team and after not winning – the personality, the mentality. Many, many things.
“I am pretty sure I will be able to do that – or maybe not – but I need more time.”