Manuel Pellegrini Says Free Agent Yaya Toure Won't Be Joining West Ham

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 16, 2018

SWANSEA, WALES - MAY 15:  Manuel Pellegrini, manager of Manchester City and Yaya Toure shake hands after the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium on May 15, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

West Ham United will not be signing free agent Yaya Toure this summer, according to manager Manuel Pellegrini, who worked with the Ivorian for three years at Manchester City. 

Pellegrini was at the Etihad Stadium between 2013 and 2016, and he won the Premier League crown with 35-year-old Toure in 2014, as well as two League Cups. But the Chilean told the press there will be no reunion.

He said: "Yaya is a very good player. In his position at the moment we have very good players. He will always be a good player in any team but right now our squad is ready."

Toure departed City this summer after reaching the end of his contract. It was the second time Pep Guardiola has cut ties with the player, having been at the Barcelona helm when he moved to England in 2010.

The veteran has yet to agree terms with another club since then, and Guardiola recently hinted at some of the behaviour that might have led him to not prolong Toure's stay at the Etihad, via Goal's Sam Lee:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

Guardiola has a dig at Yaya Toure over his end-of-season claims - he was asked to explain the "if you hate me, hate me" team talk from the Amazon doc trailer, and he took the opportunity to highlight players who "don't have the courage" to complain to his face. https://t.co/ap42HnHhcF

In any case, there are questions as to whether Toure, at the age of 35, would be worth a likely hefty addition to their wage bill without the guarantee he'll be ready to play every game.

The Hammers were one of the more active Premier League clubs in the transfer window this season and welcomed 11 new faces to the London Stadium, including three central midfielders.

Jack Wilshere arrived on a free transfer, while Carlos Sanchez was brought in as a deadline-day arrival from Fiorentina and Slovenian youngster Sebastian Nebyla, 16, was signed from Spartak Trnava.

Presenter and West Ham supporter James Corden was impressed with the club's initiative in this transfer window, which opened and shut earlier than previous years:

James Corden @JKCorden

Every single West Ham fan should be praising the board with the signings that have made this summer. Plus a proven manager. They’ve listened to the fans and It’s clear what they want to achieve. #COYI https://t.co/GzK6gEFRgw

Pellegrini enjoyed great success with Toure in England, and some might be tempted to believe the signing could improve the team after an opening day 4-0 defeat at Liverpool.

However, it's important to note the fact his West Ham side, still taking shape with a raft of new faces, were up against one of the best attacking lineups in the world. Not to mention Pellegrini's poor record against the Reds, per Match of the Day:

Pellegrini has also moved Irish defender Declan Rice into midfield of late to partner Mark Noble, with Pedro Obiang also among his options.

That reserve of midfield talent is sufficient for Hammers chief Pellegrini as he looks to make another Premier League splash.


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