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Yaya Toure Leaving Manchester City After Season, Pep Guardiola Says

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 4, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 07:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City and FC Basel at Etihad Stadium on March 7, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed this season will be Yaya Toure's last at the club, hailing the three-time Premier League champion as a cornerstone for the Citizens' success in recent years. 

Guardiola spoke to the media ahead of Sunday's home clash against Huddersfield Town and confirmed Toure will leave the Etihad Stadium when his contract expires in June, per City's official Twitter account:

Manchester City @ManCity

#PEP: @YayaToure is not going to stay next season. The Brighton game, we will focus on winning and Yaya. We are going to try and win the game for him. Yaya came here at the start of the journey. Where we are now is because of what he has done. He was a key player. #mancity

The Ivorian will make his 10th appearance of the Premier League campaign if he turns out at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday in what could be his final outing in sky blue.

It means Guardiola will oversee a Toure departure for the second time in his career after it was he who sold the central midfielder to City while both were at Barcelona in 2010.

There were initial fears Guardiola could sell Toure for a second time upon arriving at the Etihad in 2016, but the anchor lasted and ultimately signed a one-year extension last summer, proving his worth under the Catalan tactician.

This season has seen the former team talisman take more of a backseat to the established midfield trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho and David Silva, but City nonetheless chronicled Toure's highlight reel of his Manchester stay:

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Manchester City @ManCity

Not crying... Promise! 😭 #mancity 💙 @YayaToure 💙 https://t.co/O7sx8cDGZR

On top of three Premier League trophies, Toure won the FA Cup in 2011 and two League Cups in 2014 and 2016, giving City a touch of class in midfield.

But as he prepares to celebrate his 34th birthday on May 13, Toure leaves City knowing the newly crowned English champions are likely moving on to bigger and better things, with him to thank for a good portion of that success.

The transfer market has spiralled since his 2010 move to England from Barcelona, but the £24 million Toure cost now looks like one of the deals of the decade looking back on how his tenure overlaps with City's rise at home and abroad.

An appearance against Brighton would be Toure's 316th in City colours, per Transfermarkt, although just his 17th of the current campaign after Guardiola turned to other options since taking over.

Toure arrived at City as their centrepiece but leaves a squad adorned with treasures, many of whom might never have arrived were it not for the hand he played in transforming the club into the powerhouse of today.

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