Updates from Wednesday, July 30
Yaya Toure has confirmed he intends to see out his career at Manchester City, putting the seal on an uncertain summer for the Ivorian powerhouse.
Toure had been strongly linked to a move away from the Premier League champions following a bizarre dispute over his birthday, but now he appears happy to stay in Manchester:
The Daily Mirror's David Maddock transcribes key quotes from the above video:
It was not a case of me wanting to leave the club.
I stayed quiet and at the end of the day it’s my decision: I will stay at Man City for as long as possible. The matter is closed now.
Updates from Friday, July 18
Sky Sports reports that Yaya Toure has made a decision regarding his future, per ESPN FC on Twitter:
Yaya Toure tells Sky Sports that he will honour his contract at Manchester City and wants to stay at the club "for as long as possible."— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 18, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, July 9
Manchester City are expected to stand firm against the latest exit rumours to emerge over Yaya Toure's future.
The Daily Mirror's David Anderson reports:
Manchester City will not sell Yaya Toure despite the latest claim he will do everything to quit the club.
Updates from Tuesday, July 8
Fresh doubts have emerged over the future of Yaya Toure, after Le Parisien quoted an unnamed Ivory Coast international colleague on the Manchester City man's future.
Translated by Manchester Evening News' Paul Handler, the unnamed player allegedly said of Toure:
He has accumulated too many grudges against [Manchester City's] leaders and he will not stay with them.
He will do everything to ensure his departure this summer.
Updates from Wednesday, June 11
Paul Clennam of Goal UK passes along comments from Yaya Toure's father, who provides an update on the future of the Manchester City star:
"No, he won’t leave," Mory Toure told Goal. "And it’s not even my wish that he leaves Manchester City. It’s said that the most wished for changes bring their sadness. And I reconfirm that he won’t leave.
"If Yaya wanted Manchester City to pay particular attention to the date of his birthday, it’s because he felt that it was the right moment for the club to show him their consideration for all the sacrifices made for City to be at this level.
"It’s a situation he didn’t appreciate. And as he’s a boy who doesn’t keep his frustrations to himself, he preferred to express himself. But I think it’s a situation which will be resolved."
Updates from Thursday, May 29
Yaya Toure describes himself as "annoyed" at reports that emerged from a recent interview in which he said it would be an "honour" to play for PSG.
I want to take advantage of this opportunity to put things into context. It's very important. I simply said that it was nice to be a player who is quite coveted, and it was an honour to play for PSG.
The media took what I said out of context. For the moment, there's nothing planned. Too many things have been said, that annoyed me.
Updates from Tuesday, May 27
Yaya Toure has encouraged talk of a potential move to PSG, casting further doubt over his future at Manchester City.
When I think about objectives of Paris Saint-Germain, how can you not be interested in a club like that?
PSG have become a European power. It'd be an honour to be part of such a club one day... if I can be of use.
Updates from Friday, May 23
David Silva has expressed his surprise at the confusion surrounding Yaya Toure's future, insisting the midfielder seems 100 percent happy at Manchester City.
Silva told the Mirror's David McDonnell:
Updates from Thursday, May 22
The true motivation behind the bizarre Yaya Toure saga may be coming to light, after agent Dimitri Seluk revealed the midfielder would likely stay at Manchester City if they offer him a role once his career has ended.
Sky Sports provides the latest from the controversial agent:
Of course. Like Real Madrid did with (Zinedine) Zidane for example. Zidane played then after that he started working for the club.
Yaya needs the club in the future. We don't want any more pounds, not a longer contract, nothing like this, only really attention.
More attention (paid) to Yaya and Yaya must feel happy at the club - that's the main thing. I'll tell you one more time, we don't need one more pound in the contract.
The Daily Mail's Chris Wheeler claims City director of football, Txiki Begiristain, will sort out Toure's future prior to the World Cup:
They (City) want to maintain a conciliatory approach and are anxious not to let the problem escalate following claims from Toure that he will issue a statement after the World Cup.
Begiristain was already planning to be in Brazil for the tournament but his priority will now be to set up talks with the player to smooth things over.
Mark Ogden of the Telegraph provides a different angle on the story, suggesting Barcelona are not nailed on to sign Toure if he leaves City this summer:
Updates from Wednesday, May 21
Yaya Toure does want to quit Manchester City. That is the message emblazoned across the back of the Sun on Wednesday, written by Antony Kastrinakis.
101 Great Goals provides the tweet:
Toure's future fell into major doubt on Tuesday when his agent, Dimitri Seluk, revealed the player felt disrespected by City officials following a lack of acknowledgement over his birthday.
Toure appeared to quash his agent's comments at first, but those tweets were later deleted. Kastrinakis' Sun article quotes Seluk explaining why:
The first tweets were from a PR woman who manages Yaya’s Twitter page and she tried to be diplomatic.
They were not from him and Yaya knew nothing about what she said. When Yaya found out, he immediately tweeted himself to correct the situation.
Toure then posted a series of tweets to support his agent, and Kastrinakis provides more quotes to concern City fans, after a TV interview involving the midfielder on Monday:
Yes, I have talked before about ending my career at Barcelona — but we don’t know because football is moving fast and you never know about tomorrow.
My agent, Dimitri, is always on the phone and he knows what he has to do because I trust him a lot.
However, the Mirror's David McDonnell reports that City chiefs will block any attempt by Toure to leave the club:
City say they feel under no pressure to respond to the claims of Toure or his agent, with senior figures at the club insisting the club will not be pressured into letting the Ivory Coast World Cup star leave.
The club refused to buckle when their former striker Carlos Tevez tried to push through a move and eventually allowed him to leave on their terms, and they will take the same stance in Toure's case.
Barcelona's sporting director, Andoni Zubizarreta, was asked about Toure on Wednesday. Goal's Ben Hayward noted his response:
Zubi asked about Yaya Touré: "I won't comment on stories that come from Twitter. It's a wonderful world, but we deal with reality."— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) May 21, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, May 20
Following quotes from Yaya Toure's agent that the player is unhappy with Manchester City officials for forgetting his birthday, Toure added more fuel to the fire on Tuesday.
The City star initially appeared to quash the story when he tweeted:
Jokes aside. Please do not take words that do not come out of MY mouth seriously. Judge my commitment to @MCFC by my performances.— yaya toure (@Toure_yaya42) May 20, 2014
However, Toure rather baffling followed that up with two more tweets that suggest he does have issues with City officials:
My agent was trying to make a point here on my behalf, joke aside.It seems important for me to make a statement..i am going to do so.— yaya toure (@Toure_yaya42) May 20, 2014
Everything dimitry said is true . He speaks for me . I will give an interview after world cup to explain— yaya toure (@Toure_yaya42) May 20, 2014
Agent Dimitri Seluk claimed City disrespected Toure when nobody wished him a Happy Birthday, but a video has emerged to prove to the contrary. The following video, courtesy of Manchester City's official Youtube channel, shows Toure being presented with a cake (start video at 2.30):
Seluk has since responded, reiterating his belief that Toure may quit City over the incident, per BBC Sport's Chris Bevan:
He got a cake but when it was Roberto Carlos's birthday, the president of Anzhi gave him a Bugatti.
I don't expect City to present Yaya with a Bugatti, we only asked that they shook his hand and said 'we congratulate you'. It is the minimum they must do when it is his birthday and the squad is all together.
I hear one newspaper has written that City congratulated him from Twitter but this is a joke. It is better they don't put anything on Twitter if they are not saying anything to him.
The most important thing is a human relationship and maybe this is his opportunity for Yaya to find that. If City don't respect him, then, easy, Yaya will leave. No problem.
We've hit that time of the year where rumours begin to run rampant through the football world, and the newest involves one of the most dominant players from the 2013-14 Premier League campaign.
According to a report by The Sun, Manchester City's Yaya Toure is attempting to force a move away from the EPL champs:
EXCLUSIVE No 1: Yaya Toure is desperate to leave Man City, and would take a pay cut to rejoin Barcelona http://t.co/wwiJ95NR9Z— The Sun - Football (@TheSunFootball) May 19, 2014
His agent, Dimitri Seluk, gave the following reasoning:
We'll go ahead and put this rumour under the "take with a basketball-sized grain of salt" category. As many, such as Agent Edward and the Mirror's Alex Richards were quick to note, this is likely just a scare tactic—an attempt to squeeze more wages out of the wealthy ownership following a transcendent season:
Yaya Toure is looking for higher wages from Manchester City. His agent will be speaking out about other clubs in next few days to scare City— Agent Edward (@Agent_Edward) May 19, 2014
Don't see Yaya Toure leaving #MCFC. Do see him wanting a new contract after the season he's just had. Quite simply, playing the game.— Alex Richards (@AA_Richards) May 19, 2014
Toure was unbelievable for the Citizens in 2013-14.
In 35 Premier League appearances, the Ivory Coast international found the back of the net 20 times—just one fewer than his last three seasonal outputs combined, per ESPNFC.com—to go with nine assists. While he was third in the league in goals (and second to only Luis Suarez with 29 direct combinations to goals), he amazingly attempted just the 47th-most shots per match, per WhoScored.com.
Moreover, in addition to that deadly efficiency around the net, Toure controlled the midfield beautifully. He completed an average of 71.5 passes per contest—most in the Premier League—at an fantastic 90.1 percent clip.
While this gossip might worry City fans, Toure signed a new four-year contract about 13 months ago that pays him "more than £200,000 a week," so this is likely just a case of Seluk saying Seluk things.
The prospect of Toure's name hitting the transfer market, especially after the season he had, is undoubtedly intriguing for clubs around the world. Just don't expect the star midfielder to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Except Brazil. And in that regard, it would be wise if his agent piped down on future potential distractions while Toure prepares for the World Cup.