Yaya Toure’s absence from the Manchester City first team has nothing to do with a lack of fitness, according to the player’s agent.
Toure was the only senior player of six out of contract at the Etihad Stadium at the end of last season to sign a new deal but the 34-year-old is yet to feature for Pep Guardiola’s side this term.
Fabian Delph and academy prospect Phil Foden were preferred as midfield options on the bench for Saturday’s 5-0 win over Liverpool and Toure was left out of the travelling party for Wednesday’s Champions League Group F opener at Feyenoord.
Guardiola told a pre-match news conference that Toure knew why he was not involved but “it is between him and me”.
The former Barcelona midfielder was left out Guardiola’s plans at the start of last season having returned to pre-season training overweight but his outspoken representative Dimitri Seluk insists this is not the issue this time around.
“Yaya is in great shape. He will prove it,” he tweeted.
“He is fit to play. It’s up to Guardiola to decide.”
Seluk’s intervention appears to align with Guardiola’s words in Rotterdam on Tuesday when he was asked whether Toure was not performing in training.
“No, no – it is just a sporting decision,” he said. “Hopefully [he will play again soon], it depends on him.”
Toure’s omission marks the latest twist in his relationship with a coach who sold him from Barca to City in 2010.
The two-time Premier League winner’s time in Manchester appeared to be at an end last year when Guardiola kept him out of the side after Seluk publicly criticised his methods.
A truce came in time for Toure to mark his return with a match-winning brace at Crystal Palace last November and he went on to make 31 appearances for City in 2016-17 across all competitions.