Wednesday 13 December 2017

Yaya Toure pens new Manchester City contract

Yaya Toure will remain with Manchester City
Yaya Toure will remain with Manchester City

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has signed a new one-year deal with the club having won over manager Pep Guardiola this season.

The 34-year-old, whose existing deal expired this month, began the season under a shadow after Guardiola omitted him from City's Champions League squad.

That sparked a rift with the player's agent Dimitri Seluk, who claimed Toure had been humiliated, which resulted in the manager insisting the Ivorian would not be included in any team until he apologised.

Toure eventually smoothed things over and returned to the side to play an instrumental role in the second half of the season, resulting in the offer of a new contract.

"Yaya has been a fantastic servant for Manchester City and continues to be a vital member of Pep Guardiola's squad," City's director of football Txiki Begiristain told mancity.com.

"He is one of our most experienced and popular players and we couldn't be happier that he is staying with us as we embark on what we all hope will be a very exciting season.

"Yaya has been central to the successes we've had over the past seven years and he has a vital part to play next season,"

Toure has won six trophies, including two Premier League titles and an FA Cup, with the club since joining from Barcelona in 2010.

"I'm delighted. I told myself the journey at City is not done and when I received a call from Txiki and talked to the manager I was very delighted," said the midfielder.

"When I was first coming here I was trying to be part of a new story, of something special at this club. I am very lucky now to be part of a great club with great players around me who are helping me to achieve my targets.

"Of course I want to win trophies, that is very important to me. I want to enjoy it at this age still and remaining here is a massive, massive thing.

"It is a great club, going in the right direction with new players who are coming in."

City are still trying to get a deal for new goalkeeper Ederson over the line as Guardiola continues with his squad rebuilding.

Benfica announced they had "reached an agreement" over a £35million deal with the 23-year-old, who has yet to win a senior cap for Brazil, having been in Manchester since Tuesday.

Under current exchange rates he is set to become the game's most expensive goalkeeper, edging Gianluigi Buffon's switch to Juventus although the Italian's 51m euros move back in 2001 eclipses the 40m euros City are paying Benfica.

The Portuguese club posted a picture of the keeper accompanied by the words "thank you @edersonmoraes93" on their Twitter account and said in a statement to the stock exchange "it has reached an agreement with Manchester City Football Club Limited for the definitive transfer of the rights of the athlete Ederson Santana de Moraes for the amount of forty million euros".

But City have not been able to finalise the deal quickly as Ederson's contract with Benfica involves third-party ownership of his economic rights, with previous club Rio Ave still holding 30 per cent share and Jorge Mendes' agency Gestifute 20 per cent.

Football Association rules do not allow for any third party involvement, meaning Benfica must take care of business independently before tying up loose ends with City.

City had a similar experience with Gabriel Jesus' transfer last season and are prepared to wait days, if not weeks, for the correct paperwork to be finalised.

Ederson's expected arrival at the Etihad Stadium essentially confirms England number one Joe Hart has no chance of a reprieve after his season-long loan at Torino, while his original replacement, Claudio Bravo, has failed to live up to expectations.

He will become Guardiola's second signing of the summer after the £43million arrival of Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva.

City, meanwhile, have until 2020 to re-sign Enes Unal after agreeing a buy-back clause with Villarreal.

The 20-year-old Turkey international never played a competitive match for the club after arriving from Bursaspor in 2015 and he enjoyed several loan spells prior to joining the Yellow Submarine on a five-year deal on Wednesday. He scored 18 Eredivisie goals for FC Twente during the 2016-17 campaign.

But City have reserved the option to take the striker back in the next three seasons and, though the figure remains undisclosed, it is thought to be under £20million - hardly a stretch for any player considered good enough for their first-team squad.

Villarreal welcomed Unal to the club with a glowing post on their official website, writing: "The Turkish footballer is one of the most promising footballers in Europe at just 20 years of age.

"He is a strong player of great stature, but also possesses great technical ability with the ball at his feet: dribbling, change of pace, a knack for getting in behind the defence and attacking the goal.

"Strong in the air, Unal also has a powerful shot and is dangerous on set-plays, making him the complete footballer at just 20 years old."

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