What next for Yaya Toure?
Published 02/09/2016 | 17:51
Yaya Toure's fall down the pecking order at Manchester City was emphasised on Friday as the 33-year-old midfielder was left out of the club's squad for the Champions League group stage.
Three games into the new season, Toure has also not featured in a Premier League matchday squad under new City boss Pep Guardiola, with his only appearance of the season so far coming in the 1-0 win against Steaua Bucharest - a Champions League play-off second leg which the Blues went into with a 5-0 lead from leg one.
Here, Press Association Sport considers what could be next for the Ivory Coast international.
Stay and fight for his place?
There have been times in the past during his City career when Toure, who has a year left on his current contract, has made his doubters look foolish and he may well feel he can still prove himself to Guardiola, the man who previously managed him at Barcelona, then sold him to City in 2010.
Seek a permanent transfer?
Inter Milan were linked with Toure over the summer when they were still managed by Roberto Mancini, his former boss at City. But Mancini then left the San Siro, and the remainder of the transfer window saw no move materialise for a player reported to be one of the highest paid in the Premier League. There has also been talk of a big-money switch to China, and it may well be that that is where Toure heads in the new year if he wants to end his association with the club.
Seek a loan move?
Several of Toure's high-profile City team-mates left in loan deals on deadline day and this is something he could also look to do come January. City reportedly agreed to continue paying a considerable chunk of the wages of goalkeeper Joe Hart, who joined Torino on loan. Whether the same could apply to Toure remains to be seen.