Yaya Toure: I am staying at Man City
Yaya Toure has told Sky Sports that he will stay at Manchester City until his contract runs out in 2017, and wants to remain at the Premier League champions for "as long as possible."
Toure, 31, was in impressive form for City last season, scoring 20 league goals as the club regained the English title from rivals Manchester United -- but he hit out at the club in May, accusing them of not doing enough to mark his 31st birthday in May.
He also claimed City had not granted a request for compassionate leave to visit his ill brother before the World Cup -- a claim the club have strongly denied. Ibrahim Toure died of cancer at the age of 28 in June.
Despite the uncertainty regarding Toure's future, the Ivory Coast international and his agent Dimitri Seluk confirmed on Friday that the player would honour his deal at the Etihad Stadium.
"The fans have always been good to me, they've always been good to my family," Toure said. "I want to stay. I will always honour my contract. I don't think about all this speculation. It's a big pleasure to stay and enjoy the next season.
"Everything is fine now. There was a lot of speculation, you know. I think sometimes it's quite disappointing. I need to do something for the fans, it's important to let them know. They've done a lot for me. The team is preparing well and we will try to win again next season."
Seluk, who spoke before Toure, had said: "I would like to say Yaya will stay at City. He won't go to any club. Everybody can stop speculation about this.
"Yaya will stay at Manchester City 100 percent. He has a contract, he will work very hard and I hope this season he will be the best player in England.''
Although Seluk is seen as the source of much of the speculation -- claiming earlier in July that Toure would have won one of football's major individual awards if he was white -- the player backed his agent.
"He's quite strong sometimes, but he's a very good guy," Toure continued. "To be honest, we never wanted to talk about money. There are more important things than money. To be happy, healthy. Respect as well is very important."
Seluk was even able to laugh at some of the more surreal stories that have come out in recent weeks.
"I hope now everybody will have a very friendly relationship," he added. "I hope his next birthday they will celebrate together."
Information from the Press Association was used in this article.