Manchester City are set to be without Yaya Toure as they kick off their Champions League qualification campaign by travelling to Romania for the first leg of the qualification play-off against Steaua Bucharest today.
Toure, two-time league winner with the Sky Blues, was also left out of the 2-1 Premier League win on opening day over Sunderland and his omission from City’s European adventures evidences reports that the Ivorian is not part of incoming manager Pep Guardiola’s plans, meaning he could be well on his way out of the Etihad Stadium before the end of this year’s transfer window.
Manchester City, who are featuring in their first-ever Champions League play-offs, finished fourth in the Premier League last season and the team’s consolation prize is a qualifying play-off berth.
This is Guardiola’s first European tie with City after taking over as manager and while the 2-1 win over Sunderland over the weekend was not City’s best displays, the manager would be confident of getting past the Romanian Liga 1 runners-up.
Manchester City would be without new-signing Leroy Sané, who remains injured, while Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala have been left out.
Jason Denayer, the Belgian centre-half, is also absent from the group that travelled to the Romanian capital amid reports of a possible move away from the club, though young players Angus Gunn, Tosin Adarabioyo and Angel Tasende have made the trip.
Steaua Bucharest defeated Sparta Praha 3-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round.