Yaya Toure’s outspoken agent Dimitri Seluk has warned: “If Pep Guardiola wants a war, then he can have one.”
Seluk, the Barcelona-based Russian who has looked after Toure’s career since he was a teenager, once again started shooting from the lip after Guardiola threatened to leave the Ivory Coast international on the sidelines.
The Spaniard wants an apology from his adviser for an interview he did with Sunday Mirror Sport earlier this month.
Seluk had accused the City boss of being disrespectful to Toure after leaving him out of his Champions League squad.
And he insisted that Guardiola should “have the balls” to apologise to the 33-year-old if he failed to make City European champions this season.
Guardiola responded on Tuesday by telling Toure that he will won’t play for City again unless Seluk issues a personal apology.
But, in an exclusive interview with Mirror Sport, Seluk hit back with another scathing attack on the Catalan.
Seluk said: “If Pep Guardiola wants a war, then he can have one.
“Pep didn’t like my opinion? But what does he expect me to say when he does this to Yaya?
“Yaya is a player who has made history for Manchester City.
“He has won the Premier League twice, he has won the FA Cup, he has won the League Cup twice and he helped them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time.
“I spoke out because I felt that Pep was being vindictive to Yaya.
“Unfortunately for Pep, we live in a world where you have the right to free speech.
“He has reacted to what I have said about him by punishing Yaya again. But I’m not surprised.”
Seluk added: “Pep doesn’t want players with personality. He only wants players who are scared of him and will do what he says.
“The first thing he did when he arrived at City was to pick a fight with Yaya and Joe Hart, two of the club’s biggest players.
“Hart is England’s goalkeeper; Yaya has won the African Footballer of the Year four times.
“They have both been big personalities in the dressing room at City and Guardiola doesn’t like that.
“When you first go into someone’s house then you should treat them with respect. You don’t go into someone’s house and ask them to leave.
“He was the same at Barcelona.
“He forced Samuel Eto’o to leave the club. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player who cost £57million, was sold for just £18million.
“It has to always be about Pep Guardiola, no-one else.”
Seluk seemed to rule out the possibility of issuing an apology to Guardiola.
He said: “Will I apologise? Well, I have learned that you must never say never.
“But will Pep apologise to Yaya? Will he apologise to Joe Hart or Manuel Pellegrini?
“Look what Guardiola did to Pellegrini. He took his job when he was still fighting for titles.
“Colleagues should have respect for each other, especially in England where it is important to act like a gentleman.”
And the Russian also feels that Guardiola’ reputation as the world’s best coach is also undeserved – despite a stellar career at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
He said: “Pep was successful at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but take a look behind that success.
“The team he took at Barca had been built by Frank Rijkaard and then he was lucky to have Lionel Messi. It was Messi who made Barca, not Pep.
“Luis Enrique has shown that Barca’s success was not down to Guardiola.
“It was the same in Munich. Bayern won the Treble before Guardiola took over. They already had a great team on the pitch and a great organisation off the pitch.
“He couldn’t fail. My grandfather could have won the league with that team.
“Carlo Ancelotti will keep Bayern at the top – but the difference is that i also think he will win the Champions League there.
“When Guardiola left Bayern there were a lot of happy people there once he had gone. He wasn’t popular.
“If Pep wants to prove himself as a great manager, then he should go to Zaragoza or Sunderland.
“Let’s see how good he is when he doesn’t take over a great team and hasn’t got half-a-billion pounds to spend.
“Could he do what Claudio Ranieri has done at Leicester or Mauricio Pochettino has done at Tottenham?
“Well we will never know because if City don’t win the league and the Champions League this season they will just give him another £100million or £200million to spend until he gets it right. That isn’t good management.”
It seems Toure, who should be remembered as one of City’s greatest players will now spend the last eight months of his £225,000-a-week contact on the sidelines.
Seluk said: “Yaya is a professional. He will keep doing everything that is asked of him and he will walk away from the club at the end of the season with his pride.
“If City want to keep paying him not to play then that is up to them.
“But when his contract is over, he will tell the truth about Pep Guardiola and Manchester City’s fans will not like it.”