Outspoken agent Dimitri Seluk has issued a withering public response to Pep Guardiola after the latter's ultimatum over Yaya Toure. At a press conference held on Tuesday (20 September) in advance of tonight's EFL Cup third-round tie against Swansea, the Manchester City boss created headlines by vowing not to play the Ivorian midfielder again until an apology was received for controversial comments made by his representative in the aftermath of an omission from the club's Champions League squad.
"He must apologise to his teammates. He must apologise to the club," Guardiola said. "If he doesn't, he won't play. An agent has to make his job. If he has a problem he should speak to people at the club. But the day after, his agent went to the media. He [Yaya] has not had the courage to call me."
Seluk had originally hit out at Guardiola after the decision to leave Toure out of his squad for the group stages of European football's elite club competition, stating that, if City won the tournament, then he "will say on television that Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the world". If not, then he hoped that "Pep has got the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya."
Responding to Guardiola's demands to say sorry, a defiant Seluk told Sky Sports: "What do I need to apologise for? Guardiola wins a few games and he thinks he is king. I live in Europe so I can say whatever I like and Guardiola can't stop me.
"Okay, I will apologise to Guardiola if he will apologise to Pellegrini for what he did to him. If you are a gentleman, this just does not happen. Pellegrini signed a new contract last year and then he gets pushed out for Guardiola to come in. Pellegrini was a gentleman. Guardiola also needs to apologise to Joe Hart. It is not normal and it is not right to come to England and to get rid of the few English players. When you come to a country you must respect the country and respect its people."
Toure announced his retirement from international football yesterday and this latest off-field row only serves to harm his already thin chances of featuring for City with any sort of regularity during the final year of his deal. The 33-year-old, who may opt to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January, has yet to even make the substitutes' bench in the Premier League this season and made his only appearance to date under Guardiola during a Champions League play-off round second-leg victory over Steaua Bucharest.