The Ivorian international Yaya Toure is heading towards the Man City exit door, after lifting the Premier League for the third time, according to online sportsbook news.
Toure still has fuel in the tank to play at the highest level
Pep Guardiola has lavished praise onto the departing midfielder, whom he has managed at Barcelona for two seasons (2008-2010) before the Ivorian decided to switch to the Premier League side. Despite soon turning 35 years of age, Toure seems to be fit enough to play for a few more years before retiring from football, which is why the Catalan manager is urging him to continue playing elsewhere.
“The football players make the clubs bigger,” Guardiola commented. “He has helped this club take a step forward. Hopefully we can play a good game, tomorrow we are going to play for Yaya. I am not going to judge Yaya for what happened this season, maybe I was wrong in my decision, I don’t know.”
“He has a huge personality, he doesn’t feel the pressure. He loves to play football. I took the decision on what I saw on the training ground. Nothing changes about my opinion of him. We don’t have complaints about what happened this season. Hopefully he will keep playing well and comeback maybe here of some other place. I think he still has the desire to play. My advice I she has to continue.”
Although Guardiola and Toure enjoyed a fruitful relationship while at the Nou Camp, the pair had a well-publicized clash at the start of the 2016/17 season. The Man City boss decided to omit Toure from his Champions League squad when they faced Steaua Bucuresti, to which the player’s infamous agent Dimitri Seluk said accused Guardiola of humiliating Toure.
The strong-headed Catalan then refused to play the midfielder until he received an apology, which came from Toure himself on behalf of his agent. The Ivorian international then went on to make 25 Premier League appearances and 31 overall, however Man City’s title-winning season this year has seen Toure play in only 9 league games and 16 across all competitions, so it’s obvious that Guardiola doesn’t see a need for him any longer at the club.
Toure’s achievements at the Etihad will be remembered by the fans
Until this stage, Toure has made a total of 315 appearances for the Etihad side, finding the back of the net 82 times in the process. Despite being a defensive midfielder, in the title-winning campaign of 2013/14 the Ivorian managed to score an impressive 20 goals in the Premier League (and 24 overall) – which is quite unusual for a player in his position. That was his best goalscoring tally for the Sky Blues in eight seasons.
His arrival in the summer of 2010 from Barcelona marked the beginning of Man City’s turn in fortunes, as the following season they clinched their first trophy since Sheikh Mansour took over the club in 2008. Their FA Cup glory in 2010/11 was only followed by more silverware; Man City clinched the Premier League for the first time in 2011/12 after 44 years without a league title.
Including his most recent Premier League success, Toure has collected 3 league medal, one FA Cup, two League Cups (2013/14 and 2015/16), and one Community Shield (2012) during his eight seasons with Man City.
Considering that Toure’s agent has a track record of money-hungry schemes, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the imposing midfielder put on a shirt of a club that plays in the Chinese Super League (CSL) for some eye-watering amount right before he retires. And there are a number of sides willing to offer both him and his agent whatever they desire, per online sportsbooks in China.