No matter how talented a player might be, the relationship he shares with his manager will always be the most influential factor in determining his playing time.
Yaya Toure is learning this lesson the hard way as Pep Guardiola continues refusing to select the midfielder amid a feud between the Spaniard and the Ivorian’s agent, Dimitri Seluk.
The long-running war of words has seen the former Barcelona star frozen out of the Manchester City squad, playing just one competitive match to date this season.
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But just as seemed all but certain see Toure leave the Etihad during the January transfer window, the bitter dispute could be about to take an unexpected turn.
Publicly criticising Guardiola has done little to amend the situation, prompting Seluk to pursue alternative avenues in a bid to help his client back into the City first-team.
Toure has requested that his representative cools the air with Guardiola so he can attempt to fight his way back into the side before his contract expires next summer.
Seluk told the Mirror: “I have spoken to Yaya in the last few days and he has asked me to make the peace with Pep.
“I agreed with him that I had to do what I could to make the situation better, because Yaya and Manchester City have been caught in the crossfire.”
Regardless of whether his efforts will see Toure given a second chance to prove his worth to Guardiola, Seluk says his own relationship with the 45-year-old is unlikely to recover.
He added: “I am genuine in what I say. I am not an unreasonable man.
“I don’t think that Pep will ever love me, but the most important thing is that we try to forgive what has happened in the past and develop a new relationship.
A FRESH START
“This is a genuine gesture. I hope Pep accepts that my hope is that we can start with a clean page.
“Of course, I hope Pep takes the decision to bring Yaya back into his squad. But even if he doesn’t, I can assure him that I am not going to speak about him any more in the media.
“I have sent this message because Pep hasn’t returned my calls.
“I really do hope this can be a new start and that Yaya can help Manchester City to win more trophies.”
City have looked something close to their best in recent weeks after enduring an unsettling blip mid-way through October.
With a 3-1 victory over Barcelona confirming their return to form, Guardiola has restored order at the Etihad for the time being.
However, if the season so far is anything to go by, results – good or bad – will have no bearing on whether the City manager brings Toure into his plans.