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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Jul 29, 2014

Yaya Toure reiterates he'll stay at City

ESPN FC's Gary Baily contends that holding on to Yaya Toure will be Manchester City's best move this summer.

Yaya Toure has put his summer of discontent behind him to reiterate he wants to stay at Manchester City "for as long as possible."

- Mooney: Toure moves on

The midfielder's future has been in doubt since his agent said in May that the player was thinking of leaving the Etihad Stadium and claiming City showed his client a lack of respect by failing to wish him a happy birthday during a post-season tour to the United Arab Emirates.

And Toure subsequently claimed in interviews in France that he would be honoured to play for Paris Saint-Germain and that City denied him time off to be with his dying brother Ibrahim, who passed away during the World Cup.

The Premier League champions, who had footage of Toure being presented with a birthday cake and who make a point of granting players and staff compassionate leave, were bemused by some of the accusations his agent, Dimitry Seluk, levelled at them and were always confident that the former Barcelona player would remain at the Etihad Stadium.

And now Toure, who is under contract until 2017, hinted he could spend the rest of his career with City after already insisting he was happy to stay earlier this month.

He said in an interview with their official website: "It was not a case of me wanting to leave the club. I stayed quiet, I believe that is the right way, and at the end of the day it's my decision. I will stay at Man City for as long as possible."

Toure, who has returned to training after Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign, said he believes the issue is behind him.

He added: "Now I'm very happy to join the team and the manager. Everyone is very positive. Last year was a good season and this year, I hope and think it will be amazing because all the big teams are signing good players. The matter is closed now. The most important thing was to try to focus again.

"I'm feeling fine. It's good to start training again. It's been a difficult preseason. Unfortunately it was a difficult summer for my family.

"When you lose a brother it is always difficult and he was young [28] too. We were very sad, all the family. We need to move on and pray for him.

"He was my brother, he loved football. When he was sick in Manchester he was watching every game I was playing in. After them I was coming to see him in hospital. I think we need to try to move on and try to think about the next step."

Toure, a 2010 signing from Barcelona, enjoyed his most productive campaign last season, scoring 24 goals, including 20 in the league.

He also struck in the Capital One Cup final win against Sunderland as he performed well after manager Manuel Pellegrini promoted him to the vice-captaincy.

He signed a contract extension last year and, despite the events of this summer, has enjoyed excellent relations with his teammates and managers in the past.

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