Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed any suggestions that Yaya Toure could be sold.
Toure, a midfield talisman at the Etihad Stadium since his signing from Barcelona in 2010, has performed below his usual high standards for much of the current season.
He was sent off for an act of petulance in the midweek Champions League loss to CSKA Moscow and there have been reports that City are now willing to consider offloading him.
Paris St Germain have been linked with the Ivory Coast international but Pellegrini is adamant the 31-year-old will be staying.
Pellegrini said: "There must be a lot of reports telling (the story) that Yaya will be sold. Maybe (it is) all the other teams that want Manchester City to be a weaker team.
"Yaya is a very important player. He played very well in the first half (against CSKA) - he scored a goal. In the second half he made a mistake and he was sent off but - never in my mind - I am sure nobody at the club is talking about selling Yaya Toure.
"Maybe that news comes from other teams (who want) to see our team weaker."
Toure was outstanding as City won the Barclays Premier League last season, scoring 20 goals in the competition.
Problems began in the summer, however, as he voiced criticisms of the club and then became embroiled in a row over how his birthday was celebrated.
There was also tragedy as his brother Ibrahim lost his battle with cancer and earlier this week he was the victim of racial abuse after reactivating his Twitter account.
His form on the pitch is part-reflected in City's underwhelming start to the season. City are yet to hit their stride in the Premier League and are facing early elimination from the Champions League.
Last Sunday's derby victory over Manchester United was City's only win in five games.
As well as players' performances being questioned, Pellegrini is also starting to find himself in the firing line, but the former Real Madrid coach has again insisted he does not feel pressure.
The Chilean said: "I never feel pressure. In my career I have had 25 years managing teams and the only pressure I feel is my own pressure to return to play in the way I like this team to play, to play attractive football and be a winning team.
"I don't read press, I don't have any other pressures. I don't feel external pressure (and have not done) in my whole career."
Pellegrini insists it is too early to be writing off his side. They trail leaders Chelsea by six points in the Premier League but are still third. At the equivalent stage last season City were fifth, trailing then leaders Arsenal by six points.
Manchester City 1 CSKA Moscow 2 - player ratings
Manchester City 1 CSKA Moscow 2 - player ratings
1/12 Joe Hart
Poorly beaten at his near post for the crucial second goal, made a couple of decent saves but the mistake may have cost City a place in the knockout phase. 4
2/12 Pablo Zabaleta
As solid and steady in defence as ever, his attacking influence was much more limited than he is used to. 5
3/12 Martin Demichelis
Looked jittery and uncomfortable every time CSKA attacked, and was poorly beaten by Doumbia’s movement for the opening goal. 4
4/12 Vincent Kompany
A poor performance from the City captain, never looked comfortable facing the speed of CSKA’s attackers. 4
5/12 Gael Clichy
Unlucky to be penalised for the handball in the opening stages that led to CSKA’s first goal. Similar performance to the man on the opposite touchline. 5
Was meant to provide a defensive base that would leave City strong when facing the counter but was often overran. Poor in possession. 3
7/12 Yaya Toure
Scored a peach of a free-kick to draw the home side level and was City’s most threatening player before he needlessly lashed out and was shown a straight red. 4
8/12 Jesus Navas
Only broke his anonymity to provide two truly woeful product, was rightly hauled off at half-time. 2
9/12 James Milner
As ever, the Englishman worked his socks off and was City’s best player but will be ruing a missed chance early in the second-half when he could only find the keeper’s leg. 6
10/12 Stevan Jovetic
Wasn’t enough of an attacking threat despite a couple of nice touches, including a dribble that won the free-kick that led to the goal. Also taken off at the half. 4
Always lively and on the move but seemed to forget his shooting boots. Perhaps harsly booked for diving late on – it may not have been a penalty but there was some contact. 5
12/12 From the bench: Fernandinho
Was meant to add a solidity in the centre of midfield that would give more licence for Yaya Toure to push forward. Instead he was sent off for two yellow cards in 25 minutes. 1
The Champions League challenge is more precarious, with just two points gained from four group games but City could yet progress if they can hit form against Bayern Munich and Roma.
Pellegrini said: "It is difficult to progress in the Premier League when you won the title last year but we try to continue fighting for the title.
"I don't know if you can take some conclusions when you have to play 28 games more. It is a lot of games and we are just in November.
"About the Champions League, we have to take the conclusions when we have finished the group. If we don't qualify it will be a step back but you can't talk about things you don't know will happen.
"I always say that mathematics can give you qualification and we are going to fight for it. We have six more points to play for."
Pellegrini is hoping for a reaction as City travel to QPR, although weakened by the absence of injured captain Vincent Kompany, on Saturday.
He said: "Yes of course, I want to see the same team we saw in the derby three days before.
"It is very important to return to the Premier League, trying to continue winning so we can fight for the title until the end.
"In this moment we turn the page because it is very important to continue in Premier League the way we are doing now. We have won four of five games that we played in the Premier League.
"It is difficult to recover physically and mentally in less than 72 hours from what happened on Wednesday but we are trying to do it and I hope tomorrow the team that start will have the answer for the moment."
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