Friday 28 October 2016

Are Reds fans sad? Liverpool release Kolo Toure at the end of his contract

Chris Bascombe

Published 10/06/2016 | 10:40

Kolo Toure
Kolo Toure

Liverpool will today confirm the departure of centre-half Kolo Toure following the end of his contract.

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Toure will today be named as one of those released by the club, when the Premier League clarifies which players will be registered by top-flight clubs for next season.

The Ivory Coast international is now available on a Bosman deal having found himself surplus to requirements at Anfield, particularly with Jurgen Klopp signing Joel Matip from Schalke.

Former Arsenal and Manchester City centre-back Toure has become a cult figure on Merseyside since his move three years ago – he earned himself an extra season 12 months ago.

He also radically improved his fitness levels under Jurgen Klopp and ended the campaign as the first choice partner to Dejan Lovren, keeping Martin Skrtel on the bench. In fact, Toure started the Europa League final and was one of the better players against Sevilla.

But at 35 he was always struggling to convince the club he should be retained, especially with Matip and the emerging Joe Gomez vying for starting places come August. Klopp is also seeking an additional centre-back.

Liverpool are also still awaiting the judgement in the Mamadou Sakho case. Having earlier anticipated a lengthy ban for the French defender that may no longer be the case as Uefa investigate the circumstances of his taking a slimming pill.

Toure is expected to consider offers from China and there were suggestions from France overnight that Monaco are interested in him.

Liverpool have already allowed Jose Enrique to leave – he was released before the end of last season.

Youngsters Jerome Sinclair and Joao Teixeira were offered new deals by the club but elected not to sign as they consider options elsewhere. Sinclair is expected to move to Watford.

Similarly, Jordan Rossiter has already moved to Rangers having also rejected a contract offer last season. Rossiter fell down the pecking order after suffering injury and then midfielder Kevin Stewart stepped up to senior level and immediately agreed new terms.

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