The rumours suggesting Manchester City star Yaya Toure could be in line for a shock exit simply refuse to go away, with the papers using Manuel Pellegrini’s alleged interest in Ross Barkley as fuel for their fanciful transfer flames.
The big Ivorian hasn’t quite been at the races so far this term, prompting speculation that he might be beginning to feel the affects of his advancing years. Such a quandary is said to have forced City to consider options for the future, with Barkley the man deemed capable of eventually replacing the midfielder who scored 20 Premier League goals last season.
And, as if the idea of the Citizens splashing out to capture the Everton starlet wasn’t eyebrow-raising enough, fresh reports now claim that a number of clubs are looking into the possibility of signing Toure as a result.
The Daily Express today carries a story which infers Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are all open to taking the African midfielder on if City decide to dispense with his services, with a transfer next summer the most likely if Pellegrini throws financial weight behind landing Barkley.
Of course the whole scenario is unlikely given Toure’s extortionate wage demands, but that won’t stop fans of the aforementioned trio of clubs waiting with baited breath. On is day Toure is one of the most formidable forces in world football, and it's no wonder he's in such high demand, even at the age of 31.
Capable of protecting the back four in a defensive midfield position or enhancing the attack from an advanced area, he would most certainly be of benefit to any club lucky enough to land him.
Milner and Hart
These rumours follow on from others which focus around the futures of two other City stars, with James Milner and Joe Hart both said to be being eyed by other English clubs. Liverpool find themselves supposedly in the race for both players, as do Arsenal, though it remains yet to be seen whether Pellegrini has either man in his plans for the future.
It's likely that Milner will be allowed to leave sooner rather than later, given that he's more of a bit-part player for the squad as opposed to an indispensable asset. However Hart's situation is most interesting due to the fact that he's been No.1 for a number of years.
The recent arrival of Willy Caballero was expected to put pressure on his position but as of yet Pellegrini hasn't decided to switch things up, preferring instead to trust the England international.