Yaya Toure to be offered £30m-a-year contract to leave Man City and move to China
Yaya Toure will be offered a stunning £30million-a-year contract to move to China, following the confirmation that Pep Guardiola will become the Manchester City manager in the summer.
Guardiola’s arrival has been widely tipped as being bad news for Toure, who left Barcelona for City while the Spaniard was in charge at the Nou Camp in 2010.
Despite the claims of his agent that the four-time African Footballer of the Year will leave City in the summer, associates of Toure still insist the 32-year-old wants to stay at the Etihad.
But that decision may well be taken out of Toure’s hands by Guardiola, who is already planning an expensive summer overhaul of the City team that is likely to include the signing of a new central midfielder.
Toure, though, will not be short of suitors and could in fact be made the third highest earner in world football if he accepts an offer to become the latest star to move to China.
It is understood that at least three Chinese clubs have already expressed an interest in signing Toure with one, thought to be Jiangsu Suning, discussing the prospect of paying the player £30m-a-year after tax.
That would see Toure earn £576,923-a-week in China, which is more than double his current £240,000-a-week salary at City.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is the highest earner in world football on £47.8m-a-year, while Cristiano Ronaldo is estimated to collect £39.7m-a-year at Real Madrid.
But the money on offer in China would put Toure ahead of the current third-best paid player in the world, Neymar, who is paid £26.8m-a-year by Barcelona.
Such a lucrative contract would certainly ease the blow of being squeezed out of City by Guardiola, but Toure will receive offers from all over the globe and may need convincing that, aged 32, China represents his best option.
City could expect to recoup a good fee for Toure from a club in China, despite the fact the Ivorian will only have a year remaining on his contract at the end of the season.
Chinese Super League clubs are currently throwing money at footballers based in Europe and South America, with Jiangsu spending over £20m to sign Ramires from Chelsea and paying the midfielder £10m-a-year net.
Chelsea captain John Terry could earn around £20m-a-year after tax by finishing his career in China, while Shanghai SIPG, managed by Sven Goran Eriksson, were prepared to pay Wayne Rooney £25m-a-year to tempt him away from Manchester United but the England captain is not interested.
Super-agent Jorge Mendes has already established business links in China, while Pini Zahavi has also been active in trying to identify and take players to the Far East.
The future of Toure will certainly be one of the most pressing issues for Guardiola, who will inform striker Wilfried Bony and central defender Eliaquim Mangala that they are not part of his plans and are free to leave the club.