Yaya Toure: Arsenal Target Turns Down New Contract at Barcelona

Paul SkerrettContributor IJune 10, 2009

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 13: Toure Yaya of Barcelona looks on before the Copa del Rey final match between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Mestalla stadium on May 13, 2009 in Valencia, Spain. Barcelona won 4-1.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The Ivory Coast international’s agent Dimitri Seluk, according to a report in the Sun newspaper, revealed that the Catalan club were unwilling to meet his client’s request for a 15 percent pay raise.

Toure, who has had a terrific season playing either in central midfield or, on occasion, as a stand-in central defender, is believed to be one of the lowest paid players at the club, on a wage of around £45,000 per week.

Barcelona have offered improved terms but, according to Seluk, not nearly enough.

Arsenal themselves have a strict wage structure that they would be unwilling to break, though Wenger has other things to offer Toure.

His older brother, Kolo, is already at the club and the chance to play together at the highest level of club football has always appealed to both.

Wenger also desperately needs the type of player that the younger Toure is. His power, strength, and willingness to break up play in front of the back four before launching attacks would add some much needed steel to the Arsenal midfield.

As such, Toure has the chance to transform Arsenal’s fortunes and step out of the shadows of some of his more celebrated colleagues at the Nou Camp.

Seluk said: “Barcelona’s offer is not sufficient for the level of play he demonstrated last season.

“They have not respected him—he merits a better deal.”

Arsenal are believed to be lining up a £15 million bid for Toure but will face serious competition from European heavyweights Inter and AC Milan.