Manchester City have announced their squad to compete in the group stages of this season's Champions League. Yaya Toure is the headline omission for home and away ties against Barcelona, Borussia Monchengladbach and elder brother Kolo's Celtic, with Pep Guardiola only permitted to include a maximum of 17 overseas players.
18 remain in the first-team squad after the close of the transfer window on Wednesday (31 August) and Toure's place therefore always seemed particularly vulnerable. The 33-year-old midfielder has fallen out of favour under the new regime, making just one solitary appearance so far this season in last month's 1-0 qualifying play-off round second-leg defeat of Romanian outfit Steaua Bucharest at the Etihad Stadium.
Such a lack of first-team football – Toure was not even listed as a substitute in any of the three Premier League victories over Sunderland, Stoke City or West Ham United – led to speculation that he would leave City this summer before entering the final year of his contract.
However, Guardiola, who also managed the player at Barcelona, last week praised both his behaviour and his "amazing" late cameo as a striker against Steaua and confirmed that he had revealed his desire to stay put.
"I spoke with him. He said he wants to stay. If he wants to stay, I am happy you stay," the manager was quoted as saying by The Sun. "There are a lot of games. Everybody needs to play. I know his quality.
"For example in the last 20 minutes against Steaua Bucharest he played as a striker and played amazing. Of course I know him very well and his behaviour from the beginning was perfect. When his behaviour is okay and his agent as well, everything is going very well."
City's squad for the first phase of the Champions League proper also includes injury-plagued captain Vincent Kompany, who recently stepped up his recovery from thigh surgery by playing all 50 minutes of a training match. Bundesliga recruits Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane make the cut as they close in on their respective returns from a dislocated kneecap and hamstring problems respectively, while Joe Hart replacement Claudio Bravo is also named along with £47.5m ($63.2m) defender John Stones.