Manchester City have been dealt a double blow with news that both Kolo and Yaya Toure have been selected for the African Cup of Nations by the Ivory Coast.
The loss of younger brother Yaya will be a particular blow for Citizens chief Roberto Mancini, with the dominant midfield presence set to miss crucial Premier League matches against both Arsenal and Liverpool whilst away with Sabri Lamouchi’s side.
Kolo, meanwhile, has struggled to make an impact for Manchester City this season, playing a bit-part role for the champions when called upon by his manager.
A number of other English top flight players are in the Elephants’ squad, with Gervinho (Arsenal), Cheik Tiote (Newcastle) and Arouna Kone (Wigan) also included.
Manchester City youngster Abdul Razak also makes the 23-man squad, although he hasn’t been in the plans of his domestic manager this season.
Ex-Premier League stars Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Didier Zakora are also in the squad, as the Ivory Coast look to lift the trophy for the first time since 1992. They lost last year’s final in a penalty shoot-out to Zambia.
Ivory Coast provisional squad for African Cup of Nations:
Goalkeepers: Barry (Lokeren), Yeboah (Dijon), Ali Sangare (IAFC)
Defenders: Bamba (Trabzonspor), Boka (Stuttgart), Eboue (Galatasaray), Lolo (Kuban Krasnodar), Tiene (Paris St Germain), K Toure (Manchester City), I Traore (Brest), Razak (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Romaric (Real Zaragoza), Gradel (St Etienne), Tiote (Newcastle), Y Toure (Manchester City), Ya Konan (Hannover), Zokora (Trabzonspor).
Forwards: Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua), Kalou (Lille), Kone (Wigan), L Traore (Anzhi Makhachkala), Bony (Vitesse Arnhem), Gervinho (Arsenal).