Thursday 14 December 2017

Yaya Toure has a 50-50 chance of staying at Man City - Agent

Manchester City's Yaya Toure
Manchester City's Yaya Toure

Andy Hampson

A day of confusion and farce surrounding Yaya Toure seemingly ended with the player expressing his unhappiness at Manchester City on Tuesday.

The City midfielder initially appeared to contradict claims from his outspoken agent that he could quit the club this summer because he felt under-appreciated and disrepected.

But, communicating his thoughts via Twitter, he quickly backtracked and made statements in favour of his representative. Much later, an earlier tweet suggesting people should not accept the word of his agent, Dimitry Seluk, was deleted.

Adding to the absurdity was the apparent suggestion from Seluk that one of Toure's main gripes was the club's failure to mark his 31st birthday last week.

This was soon exposed as untrue by the electronic media as a video published by City last week, in which Toure was presented with a birthday cake, was widely circulated. Many also pointed out that the club had tweeted a happy birthday message at the time.

This then threw the spotlight back on Seluk, who has a reputation for making outlandish claims.

But Seluk, in one of a number of interviews throughout the day, then clarified his remarks, saying that Toure was disappointed nobody from a senior position at the club wished him happy birthday.

City did not comment on any of the developments, but with Toure having only signed a four-year contract in 2013, their position is one of strength.

Seluk also has a track record of threatening his client's exit from clubs.

Last year Seluk also demanded Toure's latest contract discussions be concluded by a certain deadline, only for that date to pass and Toure - with little apparent complaint - to sign a month later.

Seluk, however, insisted all his claims were genuine.

He told talkSPORT: "Honestly, it's not 100 per cent that he will stay at Manchester City, it's better to say 50-50.

"He has motivation to play well for City, he fights for City, but he feels he fights for the team and the club forget about him.

"It's very upsetting for him. When the club celebrated winning the Premier League, everything was good. Yaya had a great season and everybody at Manchester City was together.

"But nobody said congratulations to Yaya for his performances, and that made Yaya think the club don't respect him and don't give him enough attention.

"Of course it's not a question about the money."

One of Toure's quotes that still stood at the end of the day read: "Everything dimitry said is true. He speaks for me. I will give an interview after world cup to explain."

Meanwhile, it is understood City are planning for next season they will need only five homegrown players in their Champions League squad, rather than eight.

The reduction is because City will only be permitted a 21-man European squad rather than the usual 25 as part of their punishment for breaching UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) rules.

The European governing body is yet to confirm this.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has also expressed the club's frustration over the whole FFP affair.

Al Mubarak told the club's website: "We have zero debts. We don't pay a penny to service any debts. For me, that is a sustainable model. However, our friends in UEFA seem to believe otherwise. They have their view, we have ours."

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