Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has demanded more from midfielder Yaya Toure after excluding him from the squad for Wednesday's Champions League opener against Feyenoord.
The 34-year-old is yet to feature for the Citizens this season and was not named as a substitute in Saturday's 5-0 victory over Liverpool.
And Guardiola has called on Toure to prove that he is worthy of a place in the team, claiming that he "wants more" from the experienced playmaker.
Other than the friendly versus Girona, Yaya Touré has yet to play a single minute since the season kicked off and isn't in travelling squad.— City Watch (@City_Watch) September 12, 2017
"It is between him and me. It is just a sporting decision," he said, quoted by the Daily Mail. "I demand as much as possible. I want more from Yaya, more from everyone."
Asked if Toure will return to the side in the near future, Guardiola added: "Hopefully. It depends on the player."
Sources close to the player reportedly claim that he is not overly concerned with his lack of game time at this early stage in the campaign.
But that could change if he continues to be left out of future squads, particularly given the form of some of his fellow midfielders.
City will be looking to build on last weekend's emphatic win against Liverpool in their first Champions League group game, although Guardiola has warned that there remains a lack of belief - in comparison to Spanish clubs - among English teams playing in Europe.
"The English teams are a step back in that respect," he said. "The titles and the way they play, the self-confidence shows that. That Spain (European Championship) win was so important in 2007-08 for that generation.
"The step for the English teams — the club teams and national teams — is to win one, or be close and then say, 'OK, wow, we are there'. One thing (they need) is belief."