Guardiola 'would like' Toure return – but won't make it happen

The Manchester City boss says he would like to call upon the Ivory Coast international for Wednesday’s EFL Cup game at Old Trafford, but will not make it happen

Pep Guardiola says he “would like” to call upon Yaya Toure for Manchester City’s EFL Cup clash with Manchester United, but does not appear prepared to make it happen.

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Toure has played just one match for City this season – the second leg of the Champions League qualifier with Steaua Bucharest – and has been told he has no way back into the team until he apologises for comments made to the press by his agent.

Goal understands City were keen to sell Toure throughout the summer but could not find a suitable buyer.

Guardiola says he will make a number of changes for Wednesday’s game at Old Trafford, although he is reluctant to play some of his youngsters due to the fact his side have hit a bad run of results.

He does, however, want to rest certain senior players like Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva who have played against both Barcelona and Southampton, and Kevin De Bruyne is injured.

But when asked if he would like to have Toure available, he replied: “You know the situation from Yaya.

Guardiola had demanded an apology from the agent of the midfielder, Dimitri Seluk, following disparaging comments made against the manager in the summer.

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However, asked if he had received it yet, he added: “You know the situation, I would like to count [on] Yaya, believe me, I would like to, but you know the situation.”

Guardiola also says his players are happy to continue playing his brand of football despite a run of five matches without a victory.

City have committed a number of game-changing individual errors during that run, and Guardiola kept his players in the dressing room for over 45 minutes after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.

But he believes the performances have provided vindication for his tactical approach and that the players understand his decisions.

“When I spoke with the players individually, my feeling is they are happy,” he added. “I could consider the way we are going to play if we hadn’t played well, but I think that’s not the case. 

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“The first part of the season I tried to be honest with you, we played at a high level in a good way. I think people enjoyed the way we play and the players too.

“So of course we have to improve when we give the opponent the ball on the penalty spot. That happened and it’s difficult to react to that. 

“But I think they are happy. If I didn’t have that feeling, of course I’d speak to them. There’s no sense playing that way if so. But I think they believe it’s good – so I have to insist.

“It’s not like we are going to play another way and maybe we win or maybe not. The most important thing is to make what you believe. 

“When we make a plan for one game, always there is a reason and we show them why we’ve taken that decision. That’s why we are going to continue to play in that way.

“I am convinced it’s a good way to try to win the games.”

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