Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola says he did not want Yaya Toure to have a wasted trip to Romania after leaving him out of his side’s game at Steaua Bucharest.
Toure was among a number of big names left in England for the first leg of the Champions league play-off tie, with Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Jason Denayer also left out of the travelling party.
Guardiola was pressed on the Ivory Coast international’s omission at his pre-match media conference ahead of Tuesday’s game and claimed it was nothing to do with his training performance, saying he did not want the midfielder to travel if he was unlikely to play.
“He is training amazing but I was not sure he was going to play so I would prefer him to stay in Manchester,” said the manager, who also worked with Toure at Barcelona.
Guardiola was also reluctant to go into depth on Joe Hart’s situation after he was left out of City’s first Premier League match of the season against Sunderland in favour of Willy Caballero.
A deal is reportedly in place to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, but the former Bayern Munich boss was not willing to provide an update on the issue.
Guardiola added: “Since I have been Manchester City manager and we have been together, Joe has been perfect. He is a great professional on and off the pitch.
“It is not the moment to talk about players who are not in Manchester City and in another club. I won’t talk about transfers before such an important match in our season.”