Yaya Toure and the 10 Most Bizarre Player-Club Feuds of All Time
It seems Yaya Toure's attempt at spoiling the high of Manchester City's title win is continuing. Less than a week after securing their second Premier League title win in three years, Toure, aided by his agent and long-time confidant Dimitry Seluk, decided to stir up talk of a transfer away from the club, and not for the first time.
Initially it seemed that a lack of birthday cake was to blame for the Ivorian contemplating a future elsewhere (via BBC Sport), but when footage emerged of a cake being given to him during the club's flight to Abu Dhabi, Seluk changed tack, claiming guarantees of a coaching role were his client's primary concern (via Sky Sports).
Toure has since given interviews claiming he will consider a move, firstly to beIN Sports (via BBC Sport) suggesting Barcelona could tempt him, before reports emerged that Paris Saint-Germain were the more likely destination (via the Guardian).
It's been a bizarre set of events that have somewhat soured the club's celebrations. It has been a glorious first season in charge for Manuel Pellegrini, and many feel Toure's unnecessary gripes have detracted from the achievements.
Here we take a look at 10 other bizarre player-club feuds, including another concerning City and a certain Carlos Tevez.
10. Charles N'Zogbia—Newcastle
Joe Kinnear has never been known for his ability to handle players very well, or the media come to think of it. However, even by his standards, the gaffe-prone Kinnear outdid himself when, in 2009 during a television interview, he referred to winger Charles N'Zogbia as "Charles Insomnia."
N'Zogbia was so angered by his manager's latest error that he issued a statement refusing to play for the club while Kinnear was in charge. Their relationship was never repaired, and he eventually left St James' Park to play for Wigan.
9. Florin Raducioiu
Harry Redknapp, for all his faults, has made some excellent signings during his time as a manager, proving particularly adept at picking up unknown foreign players who go on to prove themselves as top-quality Premier League stars. Florin Raducioiu, however, is not one of them.
The Romanian striker signed for Redknapp's West Ham side back in 1996, but after annoying his new manager by going shopping at Harvey Nichols with his girlfriend on the day of a match, he rarely featured again.
He played 11 times for the Hammers, scoring two goals, before being offloaded on Espanyol.
8. Alan Shearer—Newcastle
Alan Shearer is the ultimate Newcastle United legend. Adored by the fans, the club record goalscorer is seen as a God on Tyneside. However, a certain Ruud Gullit wasn't prepared to buy into the narrative set by the Newcastle supporters.
The Dutchman, who was in charge of Newcastle for around a year in the late 90s, dropped him for a 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland, leaving the home crowd absolutely furious. It seemed odd to everyone that Shearer wasn't good enough to get into the Newcastle side. It was clear the manager and player hated one another.
After he left the club just five games into the 1999-2000 season, Gullit said of Shearer (via BBC Sport): "I told him to his face he was the most overrated player I have ever seen."
7. Carlos Tevez—Manchester City
With City embarking on their first ever Champions League campaign and facing one of the toughest possible group stages, it was an odd time for Carlos Tevez to suddenly throw his toys out of the pram and refuse to come as a substitute in the match away at Bayern Munich.
Asked to warm up with 35 minutes remaining and City 2-0 down, Tevez point-blank refused, angering former boss Roberto Mancini. It was a disgraceful act and Mancini was visibly distraught when he faced the cameras after the game.
Tevez then went on a five-month sabbatical before returning to help City to their first league title in 44 years. It was an ugly episode all round.
6. Pierre Van Hooijdonk—Nottingham Forest
Another player who refused to play for the club paying his wages was Pierre Van Hooijdonk, the Dutch striker who played for Nottingham Forest in the late 90s.
Van Hooijdonk was angered by the club's decision to offload his strike partner, Kevin Campbell, and he went on a three-month self-imposed exile that saw Forest struggle in his absence and lose manager Dave Bassett.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic—PSG
Back in 2012, combustible Paris Saint-Germain forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic became embroiled in a disagreement with his club that led to him missing training. The problem? His request to park his car in the technical staff car park was refused.
That particular car park is closer to the training facilities, and when he was refused entry by a staff member, he parked in front of the entrance and blocked everyone in. I suppose it's his "unique" character which makes him such a special player...
4. Karl Colley—Goole AFC
Karl Colley, the former captain of non-league side Goole, decided one day to punch a fan after being sent-off during a game in December last year. He was held back by various staff, but attempted to get to the fan on three separate occasions, eventually landing a blow.
It resulted in his manager, Curtis Woodhouse, condemning his behaviour publicly and sacking him. When you consider that 19 years earlier Eric Cantona was banned for eight months before being welcomed back with open arms at Manchester United, Colley may feel somewhat hard done too. It would seem the quality of the player dictates the level of punishment a club is prepared to dish out.
3. Adrian Mutu—Chelsea
Adrian Mutu was a big-money signing at Chelsea early in the Roman Abramovich era, and he was expected to achieve big things at Stamford Bridge. His career in West London was cut short, though, when he tested positive for a banned substance, which turned out to be cocaine, and was sacked by the club having only joined the season before for £15.8m.
He received a seven-month ban by the FA and eventually joined Juventus on a five-year deal.
2. Craig Bellamy—Newcastle
Craig Bellamy has had, shall we say, an interesting career. Usually adored by the fans of the team he is playing for, yet almost always hated by opposition supporters, he's had his fair share of scrapes over the years.
However, in 2005, with Graeme Souness in charge of Newcastle, Bellamy fell out with his manager. Souness apparently asked him to play out of position on the right-hand side of midfield, a request which was flatly refused by the Welshman. Souness then dropped him, before Bellamy labelled him a liar. He was fined £80k for his troubles.
1. Roy Keane—Republic of Ireland
Ok, so this one doesn't involve a club, but if ever there's been a controversial stand-off between a player and his team it was Roy Keane's clash with Irish boss Mick McCarthy at the 2002 World Cup.
Keane was critical of what he saw as sub-standard preparations from the Irish FA and launched a scathing attack on the coaching staff, telling McCarthy he doesn't rate him as a manager or a person and subsequently quitting the squad and returning home in a fury.
The former Manchester United midfielder is known for his outbursts, but this will always be his most famous.