City midfielder Toure apologises for agent’s comments

Manchester, Nov 4 (IANS) Manchester City and former Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has apologised to the club “for the misunderstandings from the past” in an attempt to resurrect his career with the former English Premier League (EPL) champions.

Toure has been frozen out by City manager Pep Guardiola after comments from his agent Dimitri Seluk criticising the decision to omit the midfielder from City’s Champions League squad.

Toure, who played for Guardiola at Barcelona before being sold to City in 2010, has yet to feature for the club in the English Premier League this season, his only appearance coming in the Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest.

That led the outspoken Seluk to criticise Guardiola, asking whether he had “the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya” should City not win the Champions League.

Guardiola then insisted Touré would not play for him again unless Seluk apologised for his comments and on Friday, the four-time African Player of the Year moved to make peace with a statement on his website.

“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,” read the statement which was quoted by Guardian on Friday.

“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,” Toure added.

Seluk acknowledged that Toure has asked him to set things right with Guardiola.

“I have spoken to Yaya in the last few days and he has asked me to make the peace with Pep.

“I agreed with him that I had to do what I could to make the situation better, because Yaya and Manchester City have been caught in the crossfire. I am genuine in what I say,” Seluk told the Mirror.

“Some City fans have contacted Yaya to say that a way forward must be found. And some of Yaya’s team-mates at City have also contacted me to say the same thing. I am not an unreasonable man “I don’t think that Pep will ever love me, but the most important thing is that we try to forgive what has happened in the past and develop a new relationship.

“This is a genuine gesture. I hope Pep accepts that my hope is that we can start with a clean page. Of course, I hope Pep takes the decision to bring Yaya back into his squad. But even if he doesn’t, I can assure him that I am not going to speak about him any more in the media. I felt it was important that it was me who make the first step towards peace, respect and friendship,” Seluk added.

“I really do hope this can be a new start and that Yaya can help Manchester City to win more trophies.”

–IANS

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