Steaua Bucharest v Manchester City

15 Aug

Pep Guardiola sold Yaya Toure

Pep Guardiola sold Yaya Toure to Manchester City while Barcelona boss in 2010

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has not travelled to Romania for Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier first leg against Steaua Bucharest.

New boss Pep Guardiola had left the Ivorian out of the squad for Saturday’s Premier League win over Sunderland.

The 33-year-old’s omission raises doubts over his future at City, where he has played 270 games in six years.

Summer signings Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan are not included after missing the Sunderland game through injury.

Guardiola, speaking at a media conference in Bucharest, said: “Yaya is training amazing but I was not sure he was going to play so I would prefer him to stay in Manchester.

“We travelled with two young guys and for the selection I prefer it to be the young guys than Yaya.”

Striker Wilfried Bony, midfielder Samir Nasri and defender Eliaquim Mangala are not in Romania after they were left out of City’s 21-man Champions League squad.

England keeper Joe Hart, who surprisingly lost his place to Willy Caballero at the weekend, will be in the squad.

Members of City’s staff had a delayed journey after they were evacuated from a plane at Manchester Airport.

If City fail to win the two-legged tie they will miss out on the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

“We are going to try to score goals and try to convince the players how important it is to play in the Champions League and how beautiful it is and we are going to try and win it,” said Guardiola.

The Spaniard, 45, won the competition twice while manager of Barcelona and Steaua Bucharest boss Laurentiu Reghecampf, whose side last reached the group stage three years ago, says he is ready to face “the best coach in the world”.

“We saw City play Sunderland and have all the information to play football well and achieve a positive result,” he said.

“Even if we face a big team, even if we face the best coach in the world with fantastic results, it is a huge chance for us to prove ourselves.

“I am very confident that we will qualify for the group stage again.”


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