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Yaya Toure's apology, a little too late?

Friday 4th November 2016
Yaya Toure finally succumbed to pressure by apologising to Pep Guardiola in a bid to resurrect his already crumbling Manchester City career. The Ivorian was at the centre of a heated exchange between his agent, Dimitri Seluk and Guardiola - a verbal war which spanned over four years.

Those statements do not represent my views on the club or the people who work there,” the 33-year-old wrote on his Facebook page. “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.”

For Seluk, a Barcelona-based Russian who has looked after Toure's career since he was a teenager, it was all about winning the battle of words. His mission was simple - to portray Guardiola as the villain while neglecting the immediate consequences of his ridiculous jibes on the career of his highest-profile client.  Angered by the omission of Toure from the Champions League, Seluk remarked:

If he (Guardiola) wins the Champions League for City this season then I will travel to England and I will say on television that Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the world. But if City doesn't win the Champions League then I hope that Pep has got the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya.”

And when the former Bayern Munich boss asked for an apology, he went ahead to throw extra punches at the gaffer.

 “What do I need to apologise for?” Seluk told Sky Sports News in September. “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.”

Fast forward two months after, City are flying high in the Premier League with just one defeat in 11 games to remain joint top of the log. The Citizens have achieved this in an impressive fashion by nicking 24 goals and conceding just three in the process. And Guardiola's lads eventually got it right against Barcelona in the Champions League - outclassing the Spanish giants 3-1 on Tuesday - a feat Toure wasn't able to achieve in four previous meetings.

Guardiola is yet to clinch any title with City, but Seluk has already conceded defeat.The Russian admitted that Toure and the club's hierarchy “have been caught in the crossfire”, and vowed to do everything in his power to mend the relationship between the Spaniard and his client. However, the intermediary insists "I'm not apologising".

"We want peace, but I'm not apologising. Apologise for what? Maybe Toure has apologised for this, but I don't know what for. I think Yaya don't mean this. He wants peace between him and Guardiola."

His utterances came after that of Toure who apparently was fed up with his inactivity and seemingly impressed by the gaffer's prowess.  The Ivorian obviously ignored his arrogant agent to make peace with Guardiola.

But will this latest move by the 33-year-old end his first-team exile going by the form of the other midfielders? Or will Guardiola try to jeopardise the harmony of the squad by restoring Toure back to his first team?

We wait and see...
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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