Manchester City Transfer News: Yaya Toure Wants EPL Stay in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2018

Manchester City's Yaya Toure, center, challenges for the ball with Basel's Geoffroy Serey Die, left, during the Champions League, round of 16, second leg soccer match between Manchester City and Basel at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is keen to extend his playing career after leaving the club this summer and reportedly wants to join another Premier League team.

City boss Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday that this season would be Toure's last at the Etihad Stadium, bringing an end to a memorable eight-year stint in sky blue. 

According to Paul Hirst of The Times, the 34-year-old "wants to continue playing and his preference is to remain in England."

Speaking about the Ivory Coast international ahead of Sunday's game against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League, Guardiola outlined just how important he believes Toure has been during the finest era in City's history, per Sky Sports News:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

3️⃣1️⃣5️⃣ appearances 8️⃣2️⃣ goals "Yaya came here at the start of the journey. Where we are now is because of what he has done." Is Yaya Touré @ManCity's greatest ever player? Yaya Toure to leave #MCFC this summer, says Pep Guardiola: https://t.co/nS7UUJP8CP https://t.co/Vva4UB1yy2

At his best, Toure was a force of nature in English football's top flight, as he bossed many a midfield battle for City.

When he joined from Barcelona in 2010, the consensus was that the ex-Monaco man was a defensive footballer, having underpinned the Blaugrana midfield under Guardiola. At times, most notably in the 2009 UEFA Champions League final, he even operated as a central defender.

However, at City he was given licence to roam forward by manager Roberto Mancini, and his incredible surges through midfield became something of a trademark. As Squawka Football noted, he has been an all-around performer:

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Squawka Football @Squawka

Yaya Toure's record for Man City in the Premier League: 229 games 311 tackles won 302 take-ons completed 281 chances created 188 interceptions 59 goals 32 assists The epitome of a box-to-box midfielder https://t.co/mBEMh00WiJ

What made Toure so special was his ability to stand up in big games. When City won the 2010-11 FA Cup, he netted winners in both the semi-final against Manchester United and the final against Stoke City.

Toure has enjoyed success aplenty at City.
Toure has enjoyed success aplenty at City.Jon Super/Associated Press

The following season, he scored twice on the penultimate matchday at an in-form Newcastle United to put City in pole position to win the Premier League title.

Two years later, Toure finished with 20 league goals, once again being the driving force behind another title win. Former City skipper Paul Lake outlined some of his best memories of the player:

Paul Lake @Paul_Lake

Yaya Touré has given me some of the finest moments I’ve ever witnessed as a City fan. 1) FA Cup SF April ‘11, 2) St James’ Park May ‘12 and 3) one of the best strikes I’ve ever seen, at March ‘14 League Cup. Thanks for the memories, big fella #Yaya #mcfc

It proved to be the high point of his City career, as he's struggled to recapture those levels since. Toure is no longer the most mobile of footballers, and if he is to keep playing, he would need to have energetic operators alongside him in midfield.

Still, for the right team, there's no denying Toure could still do a job. He remains technically excellent and intelligent on the ball. Writer Tom Victor joked that the midfielder could be a target for a side like West Ham United, who signed former City star Pablo Zabaleta last summer:

Tom Victor @tomvictor

Yaya Touré | Welcome to West Ham | Goals and Skills [HD]

The team that gets Toure will be getting a player with a penchant of changing matches with pieces of brilliance and a steely mentality in big contests. However, he would need to be accommodated and, given he turns 35 on May 13, is only a short-term fix to any issues.

Toure has two games left in front of his home supporters, including Sunday's clash with Huddersfield, when the legendary midfielder will lift his third Premier League title.


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