Yaya Toure's Agent Makes Manchester City Quit Threat over Forgotten Birthday

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2014


Dimitri Seluk, the agent of Yaya Toure, has threatened his client could leave Manchester City after the club forgot to acknowledge the midfielder's birthday.

Toure is one year into a four-year deal worth £220,000 a week, but Seluk warns the Ivorian powerhouse will gladly cut that time short because the Premier League champions make him feel like a "nobody," per Anthony Kastrinakis of the Sun (subscription required), and via David Kent of the Daily Mail:

There is a big possibility Yaya will leave this summer. He is very upset. What happened at his birthday means the club don't care about him. It was proof. They can say whatever they want, "Oh we like him but we forgot". Forgot? About Yaya? The player who helped you to be two-times Premier League champions? The guy who helped you win the FA Cup and League Cup?

Seluk's rant continued in a worrying turn of events for the newly crowned Premier League winners. He said a "normal team" would "at least give him good wishes," especially as the club held a party "two days" after the title win, Yaya's birthday.

The May 13 snub certainly riled Seluk up. He proceeded by saying, "If a player like Yaya went to Liverpool and they won the league for the first time in 24 years, Yaya would be a god in Liverpool."

He claimed Yaya is "no hero" at the Etihad, a "nobody" who is "very upset" about the situation. Seluk concluded by reiterating Yaya "started thinking about leaving the club," saying City are "stupid" and "wrong" if they think they "can buy everything," per Kent.

However, a video posted on Manchester City's YouTube page shows the club presenting the City star with a birthday cake and singing to Toure in celebration (around the 2:30 mark):

Such a lengthy and ferocious set of quotes may have the City board worried. Yaya admitted Paris Saint-Germain are a "great club" to French radio station RMC in January, per Sky Sports. He has since been linked with a summer move to the Parc des Princes, a switch that could appeal a little more right now, as reported by Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

Yaya posted yet another terrific season with City. His 20 goals and nine assists from midfield put him in the running for this year's individual awards and massively aided City's run to their second title in three years, per WhoScored.com. His absence—most notably against Liverpool—highlighted how important the 31-year-old star is to maintaining a sense of overbearing physicality in Manuel Pellegrini's side.

James McManus of Squawka suggests Seluk's quotes may be over-exaggerated or incorrect, as noted on Twitter:

Toure has since spoken about his agent's comments on his Twitter account, where he said his agent was speaking the truth, and comments on his relationship with the club:

The story underlines how important Yaya is to Pellegrini's side. He stands alongside Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero as the most vital members of the squad, a player in which City's recent history is built upon. Failure to acknowledge his birthday would be unfortunate at this time of year, especially considering the undoubtedly busy City schedule across the past week.

Only time will tell. It could very well turn out that Yaya wishes to receive a pay rise and is kicking up a fuss to land extra money. In terms of ability and importance, he easily matches the £300,000 per week earned by Wayne Rooney at Manchester United, per the Daily Mail, a sum City may struggle to pay after UEFA imposed its financial fair-play rules on the squad.

Yaya will need to confirm his feelings for this one to be solved. Right now, there's sure to be a few fluttering heartbeats across the City board, supporters and maybe even in Paris.