Yaya Toure will leave Manchester City at the end of the season, manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed.
The 34-year-old midfielder, who has been one of City’s most influential players since joining the club from Barcelona in 2010, played a starring role in the Premier League title successes of 2012 and 2014.
He also featured in the FA Cup-winning side of 2011 and played in two League Cup final wins.
His involvement has declined this season, however, with the Ivorian making just 16 appearances during a campaign in which City have again won the Premier League and League Cup.
“He is not going to stay next season,” said Guardiola.
City are due to be presented with the trophy for their latest title triumph after Sunday’s clash with Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium.
They will then ensure Toure is given a fitting send-off after their final home game against Brighton next Wednesday.
Guardiola said: “The Brighton game we will give him what he deserves, one of the most beautiful farewells a player can receive. All the game we will be focused on winning the game against Brighton for Yaya, and we are going to try to do it for him.
“We have amazing facilities but the club became what they did because of the players. Yaya Toure came here when this idea for the club started, and what we are in this moment is thanks to what this guy has done.
“We cannot forget the period from Roberto Mancini, and especially Manuel Pellegrini – Yaya was the key, key, key, key, key, key player. That’s why we are delighted to prepare for Sunday’s game, for our celebration, and after for Yaya.”
Guardiola, speaking at a press conference, offered no further clue as to his own future beyond the end of next season.
The former Barcelona boss has one more year remaining on his contract, and talks over a new deal are expected to take place over the summer, but the Spaniard is in no rush.
The 47-year-old said: “I stay, for sure, one more year. We are still playing football, three more games, and we have time for everything after that.”
Victory for City at the weekend could see them set new Premier League records for the number of wins, goals and points in a season. The current records – all held by Chelsea – are 30, 103 and 95 respectively. City’s current figures are 30, 102 and 93.
Believe me I’d like to be in the final of the Champions League. Next season we will try again.Pep Guardiola
Beyond that, City have little else to play for in their final three games of the season.
Their Champions League hopes ended in quarter-final defeat to Liverpool, who have since secured a place in the final. The Premier League may always have been the priority for Guardiola but he wants to do better in Europe next term.
He said: “Believe me I’d like to be in the final of the Champions League and I’d like a lot to be the champions of the Champions League.
“Liverpool deserve to be there, Real Madrid deserve to be there. They are different competitions and the Premier League is about consistency.
“I said many times we were not ready to win all the titles, but we made a step forward compared to last season. Next season we will be back. Next season we will try again.”