Pep Guardiola insists Yaya Toure and Joe Hart’s fall from grace at Manchester City was in the best interests of the club.
Midfielder Toure and goalkeeper Hart have been the most high-profile victims of Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium, with neither appearing to have a future at the club.
Guardiola has declared that he will not pick Toure again until his agent apologises for criticising the decision to omit the Ivory Coast international from City’s Champions League squad.
England stopper Hart, meanwhile, was sent on loan to Italian side Torino to make way for the £15million capture of Claudio Bravo, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona.
But Guardiola has rubbished suggestions that the duo have suffered as part of a campaign to stamp his authority on the club.
“I don’t take the decisions to show my authority, I don’t like to take those decisions,” said Guardiola.
“The toughest decision was Joe. I know what it means, Joe Hart for this club, but when I take a decision I am always thinking what is the best for Manchester City.
“I know I am going to make a mistake but I have to do that. I did it when I was 37 years old with the first team in Barcelona, and now I am older.”
Toure has made just one appearance for City this season and looks like spending an extended spell on the sidelines after his agent, Dimitri Seluk, has repeatedly criticised Guardiola’s methods.
“The club cannot accept a manager [agent] talking in the media about decisions of the club. The players know that,” added Guardiola.
“The managers, the wives, the fathers, the sons, talking about something that is not good benefit for the club – they are not going to be part of the team.
“I don’t know if they agree or not but in terms of what happens in my squad, I am the chief. I am going to decide. I don’t like to do that, but it is the best for the club.”