Yaya Toure will leave Manchester City when his contract expires at the end of this season, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
The Ivorian was exiled from the City squad by Guardiola at the start of last season but he fought his way back to earn himself a regular place in the starting line-up, as well as a 12-month contract extension, but he has strruggled for game time during the current campaign.
lt seems, however, that he will start next Wednesday's game against Brighton, and that he will receive a heartfelt send-off from the Etihad Stadium crowd afterwards.
"He will not stay this season," Guardiola confirmed at his press conference.
"The Brighton game we will give him what he deserves. One of the most beautiful farewells a player can receive. All the game will we be focussed on winning the game against Brighton for Yaya, and we are going to try to do it for him."
Guardiola also paid a glowing tribute to the midfielder, hailing him as one of the key reasons behind City's current standing as one of Europe's top clubs.
"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.
"We cannot forget the period from Roberto Mancini, and especially Manuel Pellegrini, Yaya was the key, key, key, key, key, key player. That's why we are delighted to prepare for Sunday's game, for our celebration, and after for Yaya."