Yaya Toure could have played his last game for Manchester City after the player's outspoken agent -declared "war" on Pep Guardiola Tuesday night.
Guardiola yesterday called for an apology from Dimitri Seluk after he accused the City manager of "humiliating" Toure by omitting him from the club's Champions League squad, addding that the Ivorian's City career would be over unless his demand was met.
However, Seluk has responded by insisting that he will apologise only if Guardiola says sorry to Manuel Pellegrini for taking his job and to Joe Hart for ousting the goalkeeper.
It was announced in February that Guardiola would replace -Pellegrini at the end of the season while Hart joined Torino on loan last month after the manager told the England No?1 he did not fit in his plans.
"If Pep Guardiola wants a war, then he can have one," Seluk said. "I will apologise to Guardiola if he will apologise to Pellegrini for what he did to him. He took his job when he was still fighting for titles. If you are a gentleman this just does not happen. Colleagues should have respect for each other, especially in England where it is important to act like a gentleman.
"He [Pellegrini] signed a new contract last year then he gets pushed out for Guardiola to come in. Pellegrini was a gentleman.
"Guardiola also needs to apologise to Joe Hart. It's not right to come to England and then get rid of a few English players. Guardiola wants a new future for Yaya, for Hart, and they won't be the last. We will see what happens. His contract expires at the end of the season and in January he will be free to go."
Seluk claimed Guardiola was unable to handle big personalities such as Toure and Hart.
"I spoke out because I felt that Pep was being vindictive to Yaya," he said. "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.
"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. They have both been big personalities in the dressing room at City and Guardiola doesn't like that.
"He was the same at Barcelona. He forced Samuel Eto'o to leave the club. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a player who cost pounds 57?million, was sold for just pounds 18?million. It has to always be about Pep Guardiola, no-one else. 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?"
The row began earlier this month when Seluk reacted to Toure's Champions League snub by telling Guardiola that if he did not win the competition "then I hope that Pep has got the balls to say that he was wrong to humiliate a great player like Yaya".
The comment incensed Guardiola, even though sources close to the player indicated last night that the manager had not voiced his displeasure about Seluk's remarks in any discussions with the midfielder.
Rather than back down, Seluk, who has a long history of outrageous outbursts and once condemned City for failing to get Toure a birthday cake, has now renewed his attack on Guardiola in a potentially decisive blow to his client's prospects at the club.
Toure is out of contract at the Etihad Stadium next summer and has been excluded from seven of Guardiola's eight squads, making just one appearance this season under his former coach at Barcelona.
Toure's standing among his City team-mates also appears to be waning. It was noticeable during the League Cup final win over Liverpool on penalties in February that while Toure celebrating his winning spot-kick on his own, the majority of his team-mates rushed to congratulate goalkeeper Willy Caballero for his penalty-saving heroics. Toure was also later pictured sitting by himself during a group selfie in the City dressing room.
He trained on Monday and yesterday after overcoming a migraine problem but Guardiola was adamant that he will not represent the club again unless his agent apologises.
"It was so difficult for me to leave him [Toure] out of the Champions League. I know him and I know he's a good guy," said Guardiola, whose side face Swansea City in the League Cup this evening.
"It was difficult as well for Aleix Garcia. But the day after his agent [Seluk] spoke and in that moment Yaya is out.
"Unless Mr Dmitri Seluk comes back in the press conference or [speaks to] his friends in the media - because he has not the courage to call me - and says he apologises to Manchester City, firstly, secondly to his team-mates and after the trainer. When that happens Yaya will be part of the group and he will have the same chance to play all the games.
"I know how much Dimitri Seluk loves Yaya Toure. If he loves him, show me by apologising to Manchester City for what he did in the papers."