Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea or beyond: Where to next for Yaya Toure?
Yaya Toure will leave Manchester City this summer and is completely open about which club he will join next, according to his agent.
The Ivory Coast international is out of contract in the summer and a decision has been taken to find a new club according to his agent Dimitri Seluk.
"We have waited too long. Manchester City promised a deal but nothing has materialised so Yaya will leave in June."
According to Seluk, one of Manchester City's Premier League rivals is not out of the question and it won't necessarily be about who can pay the 32-year-old the highest wages.
"Various offers have arrived for Yaya and we're evaluating them, but no decision has been taken yet for next season," Seluk told FC Inter News. "Will the economic aspect make the difference? Absolutely not. We don't put money before everything, but the project the club presents us. The best will convince us."
So where might he go? We take a look at some of the potential destinations...
Toure once had a trial at Arsenal and even played some friendlies for the club, however a permanent move never materialised. Toure would add some additional experience to the squad, however the club are already blessed with an array of midfield options, which might make Toure a luxury they can live without. Wenger isn't a fan of older players either.
However if they listen to Stuart Pearce they would sign him up. “Arsenal need an old head within the team," the former England U21 manager said recently. “Petr Cech has proved a fantastic success this year at Arsenal, and to have a player like Toure at the centre of midfield, as that holding type of player, I think he’d give one or two of the youngsters a bit of a lift. I think he’d be a good signing for them.”
Toure has been at Man City throughout the club's recent years of success - he's synonymous with it. So it'd grate the blue half of Manchester if he were to move to Old Trafford. That alone might make him worth signing in the eyes of some. But in practical terms, United already have central midfield options with Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger. In the case of the latter two, their older legs are already a concern so another plus-30-year-old player probably isn't what they need.
Chelsea have had problems in midfield all season with the balance between Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas looking off kilter and other pairings failing to convince. Toure could be the answer and with new manager Antonio Conte taking over this summer, new arrivals on the playing front are expected to come in to. But in addition to problems in midfield, there have also been issues with attitudes at Stamford Bridge - something that could be a concern with Toure's history.
With his brother Kolo already at Anfield, a link-up may appeal to Yaya. Jurgen Klopp is expected to be given funds to stamp his mark on the side and he may see Toure as a better option than one of his current midfield pairing of Jordan Henderson and Emre Can.
The Hammers are about to move to the Olympic Stadium and to help strengthen the view that they are now competing with the big boys in terms of attendance and reputation, marquee signings are required. Toure is a huge name in football, particularly in Africa, and his arrival would be a real statement of intent. In addition, Alex Song hasn't made the impact that had been hoped for when he signed permanently from Barcelona last summer. If Song were to go, Toure would be a suitable replacement.
Toure may end his time in the Premier League, which opens up endless alternative options. A move to Italy with Inter Milan could be a possibility, particularly with the midfielder enjoying a strong relationship with Roberto Mancini who is their current boss. "Inter? We're definitely talking about a great club and everyone knows about the relationship between Yaya and Mancini," said Toure's agent. "But like I've already said, we haven't made any decision yet."
Barcelona fans were disappointed when Toure was sold - so much so that soon after he left they voted him as the player they would most like to sign. The man himself would be keen on a return too, having stated in the past he would like to retire at the Nou Camp. "I love Barcelona. In the press conference I did when I left I said I would return," he said in 2012. "In life you never know what will happen tomorrow, it's been the team of my life and I would like to finish my sporting career [there]. If I could return, it would be great."
If chasing the money - which his agent insists he is not - the obvious destination would be China. The league is awash with cash at the moment and has already tempted some big names including Asamoah Gyan, Ramires and Alex Teixeira. A move to the MLS might also appeal.
Independent News Service