Pep Guardiola has revealed that Yaya Toure was left out of Manchester City’s Champions League squad for the playoff first leg with Steaua Bucharest because he wouldn’t have played.
The Ivorian midfielder was not in City’s 18-man match squad for Saturday’s Premier League opener with Sunderland on Saturday and Guardiola announced after that he had left behind from the 21-man squad that travelled to Romania on Sunday for the crucial clash against Steaua Bucharest with a place in the group stages at stake.
Guardiola told a news conference: “Yaya is training amazing but I was not sure he was going to play so I would prefer him to stay in Manchester.”
Academy youngsters Angelino and Tosin Adarabioyo were selected in the travelling party over Toure, with a place in the Champions League group stage at stake.
“We travel with two young guys who maybe will stay out of the selection. I’d prefer the young guys to be out of selection rather than Yaya Toure,” the manager said.
“I have a lot of respect him, his career, his quality. Against Sunderland, were looking for a typical, intensive game and that’s why he didn’t play — that’s the only reason why.”
Toure was not the only senior player missing from his squad for Tuesday’s first leg. Belgium defender Jason Denayer was also left behind while Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony and Samir Nasri were not named in the list of players eligible to play in the Champions League last week.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart travelled along with Willy Caballero, who was preferred to the England keeper for the 2-1 win over Sunderland, as well as youngster Angus Gunn.