(Reuters) – Pep Guardiola is impressed with what he has seen from Yaya Toure and Joe Hart in training ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League playoff against Steaua Bucharest, even though the pair face uncertain futures at the Etihad Stadium.
Toure, 33, has not traveled with the City squad to Romania for Tuesday’s match, having also been omitted from the squad for Guardiola’s Premier League debut win over Sunderland this weekend.
England number one Hart was replaced in the starting lineup by Willy Caballero on Saturday, and while he has made the trip, speculation about his future has intensified in the British media.
“(Toure) is training amazing but I was not sure he was going to play so I would prefer him to stay in Manchester,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday, explaining his decision to overlook the Ivory Coast international.
The player’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, said on Monday that his client was keen to stay at City.
Guardiola also praised Hart, but refused to deny reports in the British media that he is lining up a move for Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo as a replacement for the 29-year-old.
“Since I have been Manchester City manager and we have been together, Joe has been perfect, a great professional,” Guardiola said.
“It’s not the moment to talk about players who are not in Manchester City and in another club,” he added. “I won’t talk about transfers before such an important match in our season.”
(Reporting by Ed Dove; Editing by Alison Williams)