These are Yaya Toure’s final days at the Etihad Stadium and he will be afforded an emotional farewell next week as his eight-year spell comes to an end.
The Ivorian is set for his final home game against Brighton on Wednesday. Toure has not started a Premier League game this season and Guardiola confirmed on Friday that the 34-year-old will depart in the coming weeks.
Toure would like to stay in the Premier League.
‘He will not stay this season,’ Guardiola said. ‘The Brighton game we will give him what he deserves. One of the most beautiful farewells a player can receive. All the game will be focused on winning the game against Brighton for Yaya, and we are going to try to do it for him.
‘We have amazing facilities but the club became what they did because of the players. Yaya Toure came here when this idea for the club started, and what we are in this moment is thanks to what this guy has done.’
Toure is expected to be given a similar send-off to Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentine full-back, who left this time last year, broke down in tears when addressing supporters on the pitch.
Banners were unfurled and messages beamed on screens, while Zabaleta was presented with a lifetime season ticket.
Guardiola added: ‘We cannot forget the period from Roberto Mancini, and especially Manuel Pellegrini, Yaya was the key, key, key player. That’s why we are delighted to prepare for Sunday’s game, for our celebration, and after for Yaya.’