Guardiola could hand Toure shock Champions League recall

The Manchester City manager says he may have made a mistake by dropping the Ivorian earlier in the season but is now open to all possibilities

Pep Guardiola says he may have made a mistake by dropping Yaya Toure and is open to the idea of bringing the midfielder back into his Champions League squad.

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Toure marked his shock recall to Guardiola’s starting line-up against Crystal Palace on Saturday with a match-winning double in a hard-fought 2-1 victory.

It had appeared that Toure’s Manchester City career was all but over after he was left out of Guardiola’s list of eligible players for the Champions League and told he would not feature until he apologised for comments made by his outspoken agent, Dimitri Seluk.

Toure did apologise at the end of October but his return to the fold this weekend still came as a surprise, and Guardiola now says the Ivorian could yet make his way back into the European squad if City get the point they need to reach the last-16.

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“Yes,” Guardiola replied when asked if Toure could be re-added to the squad in January.

“So I am here to take a decision, maybe I make a mistake but I am here to take a decision and I respect that all the people cannot agree with me. I can accept that. After that what will happen will happen.

“I spoke many times with Yaya because he was my player in Barcelona, I know him really well, he’s not a guy who I [only] know [recently], so I know how he is not just as a player – because as a player we have no doubts, if we have doubts he would not be here, so there’s no doubts about that.

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“That’s why he is another guy to compete with the midfield players to increase our levels. Of course he is not able to play on Wednesday [against Borussia Monchengladbach], he is unable to play against Celtic.

“If we are able to qualify for the Champions League [last 16], afterwards I will sit with my staff and we’ll decide who are the best players to help us to [win] Champions League games.”

But asked if he regretted leaving Toure out of the European squad in the first place, Guardiola simply replied: “No.”

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