Wednesday 28 September 2016

Pellegrini plans cake for Toure

Published 08/05/2015 | 14:56

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure celebrates his 32nd birthday on Wednesday
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure celebrates his 32nd birthday on Wednesday

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has joked that the club must celebrate Yaya Toure's birthday properly this year.

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Midfielder Toure was at the centre of a bizarre row about cake last year after his agent claimed City did not do enough to mark the Ivorian's 31st birthday.

Toure turns 32 next Wednesday and Pellegrini was asked at his latest press conference if he had found a suitable cake for the occasion.

"Are you sure it is next week?" he asked with a smile. "We will think what is the best thing for him. It is important to learn from the mistakes that you have (made) in the past!"

Pellegrini, however, was otherwise in little mood to discuss matters relating to Toure's outspoken representative Dimitri Seluk, who has been in the headlines again this week.

Seluk has claimed Toure is "90 per cent certain" to leave City this summer after five years at the club.

Pellegrini said: "Everyone can say what he thinks is better for him but we are all focused in our team, the players and managers, and what the agents think is not my problem.

"We will talk about next season in the right moment. Everyone in this moment can say what they want about different rumours but I have never answered to Yaya's agent so I will not do it now.

"Yaya has a contract here for two years more so in this moment we are only thinking about the best way to finish the season then we will see what happens next season."

Toure is fit to return to action against QPR on Sunday along with captain Vincent Kompany.

Toure missed last week's Barclays Premier League win at Tottenham after pulling up with a hamstring injury against Aston Villa the previous week while Kompany has been out for three matches with a groin problem.

On the downside, playmaker Samir Nasri, who suffered a groin injury soon after coming off the bench at White Hart Lane, will not play again this season.

Pellegrini said: "This week - at least the last two days - we have had the complete squad working except Samir Nasri who has a muscle injury and he will be out from now until the end of the season."

Aside from injury problems which also saw him have a spell out in December, Kompany has not enjoyed a successful season.

The normally reliable and influential defender has fallen below his own high standards and has made a number of high-profile errors in City's failed title defence.

Pellegrini hopes the recent enforced break might have done the player good.

He said: "Vincent is always a very important player for us. He is just coming back from a muscle injury.

"For him it is important to try to recover his normal performance. We will see what happens now until the end of the season."

City's failure to challenge Chelsea for the title this season has led to considerable speculation about changes this summer.

Manchester United's signing of PSV Eindhoven's highly-rated winger Memphis Depay this week has possibly underlined the need to act decisively in the transfer market.

Pellegrini, whose own future may not be certain, claims that deal will not influence anyone's thinking at the Etihad Stadium.

He said: "We are doing things in the right moments, with what we think is better and not what the other teams do."

Press Association

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