Yaya Toure’s future at Manchester City was plunged into further doubt on Monday after he was left out of Pep Guardiola’s 21-man squad for the Champions League clash with Steaua Bucharest.
Toure failed to make the bench for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of Sunderland in City’s Premier League opener and will again play no part in the first leg of the play-off tie in Romania.
The Ivory Coast international was one of several high-profile City players that did not make an appearance against the Black Cats with Joe Hart an unused substitute and Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony and Samir Nasri not in the matchday squad.
Guardiola said afterwards the omissions were for tactical reasons rather than any clash of personality.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “I have no doubts about that [the players reacting well].
“I know Yaya from Barcelona, how he loves to play football. I know perfectly his quality, he knows the reason why today he was not on the list, because I speak with the players to say the reason why, and I know they’re so professional.
“We are a month and a half together and there has not been one training session where they didn’t show me what good professionals they are, not one.
“Every day was amazing, but I sit with my people, and myself I decide what is best. If we draw or lose maybe it’s a mistake, so I know how this is. But it’s not a personal problem about any player.
“Today [against Sunderland] I needed a team more condensed, aggressive without the ball because we have to create team spirit.”
Mangala, Nasri and Bony have also been left at home, as has central defender Jason Denayer, but youngsters Angus Gunn, Angelino and Tosin Adarabioyo made the cut.