• Premier League

Toure defiant over City future

ESPN staff
May 21, 2014
ESPN FC: Yaya Toure disrespected?

Yaya Toure says his Manchester City future is up in the air and he could leave the club in the summer.

The goalscoring midfielder says "everything is open" when it comes to his future because of a farcical birthday row and has hinted again that he could return to Barcelona, whom he left for City in 2010.

"Yes, I have talked before about ending my career at Barcelona - but we don't know because football is moving fast and you never know about tomorrow," Toure told beIN Sports in a TV interview on Tuesday night.

"My agent, Dimitry, is always on the phone and he knows what he has to do because I trust him a lot.

"The main thing now is just to try and focus on the World Cup and he knows what he has to do because we were always open about everything and I am able to talk with him for a couple of days now.

"Because of the brilliant season Manchester City have had, everybody is talking about me and everything is open and we don't know tomorrow."

Toure's agent, Dimitry Seluk, has claimed that it is only "50-50" that Toure will stay at City. On Tuesday, he claimed in a bizarre rant that his client was unhappy over the club's owners showing "disrespect" by apparently snubbing Toure's 31st birthday last week while the club were on tour in Abu Dhabi.

Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are all said to be monitoring the situation but sources have made it clear to ESPN City are not prepared to sell such an influential player or improve the terms of a long-term contract Toure signed last year.

City fans were given hope on Tuesday afternoon that Seluk's comments did not actually represent the views of Toure when he tweeted as much.

However, that denial tweet was later deleted with the agent claiming it was not written by the player. Toure then backed his agent's stance in another tweet:

City however are not worried about Toure trying to leave, a source told ESPN, given that he has three years left on the lucrative £220,000-a-week contract he signed last year.

The club, who are conscious that Seluk also suggested Toure wanted a new challenge and could leave after they won the Premier League in 2012, are insistent that the player has been treated well this season.

Players and staff sang happy birthday to him on a plane during their post-season trip to Abu Dhabi last week while the club's official Twitter account also wished him well on the day he turned 31.

In an interview this week, chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak nominated Toure's Capital One Cup final goal against Sunderland as his favourite moment of the season while manager Manuel Pellegrini has given him greater responsibility.

Toure, the top-scoring midfielder in the Premier League for the 2013-14 season with 20 goals, has been awarded the vice-captaincy and taken more penalties and free-kicks, helping him finish the season with a career-best total of 24 goals in all competitions.

He is also understood to be a popular member of the City squad and team-mate Samir Nasri has described him as one of the best three players in the world.

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