Yaya Toure’s long-term prospects as a Manchester City player appeared to be non-existent after Pep Guardiola was confirmed as the club’s next manager back on February 1.
The Ivory Coast international, who has just turned 33, was sold by Guardiola when they worked together at Barcelona and it’s fair to say he’s no longer the explosive midfielder he once was.
One can only imagine what went through Guardiola’s mind while watching Toure’s almost comically lacklustre performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals earlier this month.
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That Toure’s outspoken agent, Dimitri Seluk, has criticised the Catalan coach on several occasions in recent years is unlikely to have helped matters.
“Pep is a great coach,” Seluk was quoted as saying by the Sunday Mirror shortly after reports emerged that Pep might be coming to the Etihad Stadium. “But he has won the title at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The truth is that my grandfather would win the title with Barcelona and Bayern Munich because they are big clubs with great players. I’d like to see Pep take a club that is eighth or ninth and make them champions.”
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Source revealed Yaya wants to stay in England
A couple of months ago, a source close to Toure revealed that he would be staying put in the Premier League, even if Guardiola decided he didn’t want him.
“Yaya and the family are very happy in the UK, they enjoy living here and see no reason to change,” the source revealed. “Also, Yaya has extended family here including brothers [elder sibling Kolo plays for Liverpool] and sisters.”
However, while Toure is happy in England, he will be acutely aware that he won’t get a big-money offer from another top Premier League club at this late stage in his career.
Toure snubbed chance to become world's top earner
Subsequently, according to the Manchester Evening News, the midfielder plans to tell Guardiola that he wants to fight for his future at City.
Interestingly, the report adds that Toure recently turned down a chance to become the world’s highest-paid footballer from a Chinese club.
He also plans to reject the opportunity to reunite with Roberto Mancini at Inter Milan.
Guardiola is unlikely to keep him
However, while Toure wants to salvage his Manchester City career, it seems unlikely that Guardiola will offer him the chance to do so.
In a few weeks’ time, Toure might wish he’d accepted that ridiculous offer from China.
Will Pep Guardiola sell Yaya Toure as soon as he arrives? Have your say by leaving a comment below.