Yaya Toure’s public apology to Pep Guardiola is “good news for Manchester City,” according to the manager.
City boss Guardiola has refused to pick Toure since his representative Dimitri Seluk claimed the midfielder had been “humiliated” by his omission from the club’s Champions League squad early in September.
Guardiola demanded that Seluk apologise but, with that not forthcoming, Toure took matters into his own hands on Friday in an attempt to end the impasse.
“I wish to apologise – on behalf of myself and those who represent me – to the management team and all those working at the club for the misunderstandings from the past,” the 33-year-old wrote on Facebook.
“Those statements do not represent my views on the club or the people who work there. I have nothing but respect for Manchester City and only wish the best for the football club.
“I am immensely proud to have played a part in the club’s history and want to help City succeed further. I live to play football and entertain the fans.
“On that note, I would like to thank all of the fans for their messages through this difficult period. This means a great deal to me and my family.”
Guardiola says he appreciates the apology and appears willing to offer the midfielder an olive branch and possible way back into the team.
Speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend’s Premier League clash with Middlesbrough, Guardiola said: “I spoke with Yaya today. Of course it is a private conversation. I know what happened and what he says.
“Of course it is so important for Manchester City, that is the most important thing, and of course for Yaya, who I appreciate and have known from a long time ago.”
Guardiola did not say whether he would start picking Toure again – having only selected him once in five games prior to the stand-off – but implied he would be ready if called upon. That is because Toure has continued to work with the squad throughout his exile.
Guardiola said: “Yaya is in all our meetings and training sessions. You knew the situation, nothing has changed.”
When pressed further, Guardiola asked to change the subject.
“I have answered about Yaya and don’t answer more,” he said.
“I spoke with him and it is good. Now the focus is on Middlesbrough.”
Whether this proves to be the end of the matter, however, remains to be seen as Toure’s apology did not appear to have met with Seluk’s approval.
The Ukrainian told talkSPORT: “I’m not apologising. We want peace, but I’m not apologising. Apologise for what?
“Maybe Toure has apologised for this, but I don’t know for what. I think Yaya doesn’t mean this.”
Seluk has a long history of courting controversy, with past remarks about a lack of Toure-branded shirts in the club shop and City’s failure to celebrate his client’s birthday properly among his most notorious complaints.
The latest row erupted when Toure was left out of Guardiola’s 25-man squad for the group stages of the Champions Legaue, with City limited to 17 overseas players. Seluk claimed Toure had been humiliated. He did not back down when asked to apologise and fanned the flames further by accusing Guardiola of treating players “like dogs”