PITTSBURGH: Yaya Toure, after having been halfway out of the door at Manchester City, has decided this is the wrong time in his career to be launching a new adventure somewhere else.
The 31-year-old Ivory Coast midielder has been a key figure at City ever since arriving for £24m from Barcelona in 2010. His ability to switch from an anchor role to marading attack support in a game has proved an invaluable asset to first Roberto Mancini and then to Manuel Pellegrini.
Last season Toure was City’s top scorer with 20 goals, a record for a midfielder in the Premier League.
Acrimony erupted at the season’s end when Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, said – bizarrely – that his client had been upset that the club had overlooked the player’s birthday amid all the celebrations of the Premier title win.
City were then further upset when Toure complained, while at the World Cup finals in Brazil, that the club had restricted the amount of time he could spend with younger brother Emmanuel who was suffering from cancer. Emmanuel died while Yaya and brother Toure were in Brazil.
This week in the United States, where City are competing in the stung-out International Champions Cup, Yaya has put the record straight.
He said: “I’m feeling fine again. It’s been good to start training again. It has been a difficult pre-season. Unfortunately it was a difficult summer for my family. When you lose a brother it is always difficult and he was young too. We were very sad, all the family. We need to move on and pray for him.
“He loved football. When he was sick in Manchester he was watching every game I played. After the matches I would come to see him in hospital.
“The World Cup was strange too. The penalty against Greece [which eliminated Ivory Coast] was unbelievable. But this is football. The important thing was to try to achieve important things for my country. It’s in a difficult situation because of politics but the people there love football so much.”
As for the future, Toure added: “Now I’m very happy to rejoin the team and the manager. Everyone is very positive [and] I will stay at Man City as long as possible. The matter is closed now.”
City beat Milan 5-1 on Tuesday with two goals from Stevan Jovetic. The next test is against Liverpool and then possibly Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United in the final in Miami next Tuesday.