Five clubs to tempt Yaya Toure from Man City this summer
Holly Thackeray | August 20, 2016
Five clubs to tempt Toure
As soon as Pep Guardiola was announced as Manchester City’s new manager, many pundits predicted Yaya Toure’s time at the Northwest club would draw to a close.
And, gaffer Guardiola has done little to quell speculation, stating: “Yaya, until August 31 is here. I know he’s trying. He loves football a lot. I spoke with him about his situation.
“I have a lot of respect for Yaya, a good relationship. I know when he is going to increase a little bit his intensity without the ball, he will be part of the group – if he wants to stay.”
Having been left out of the Catalan coach’s squad for the first two Premier League games of the campaign, the writing looks like it is on the wall for Ivory Coast icon Toure, after a turbulent but successful stint with City.
So, where can the mercurial midfielder hang his boots next at age 33? Coral writers have come up with five clubs to tempt Toure from Man City…
Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG are said to have an interest in landing the Man City midfield machine, but it’s tough to see competitive Toure exchanging the Premier League for a lucrative trip to East Asia just yet.
Could he instead first follow in elder sibling Kolo’s footsteps and exchange the Etihad for Anfield as his next move?
One area Jurgen Klopp’s contingent (8/1 with Coral to win the FA Cup) look light in is central midfield, with Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum operating there alongside Jordan Henderson currently, and Emre Can strangely on the bench.
Though none of the aforementioned possess the rare mix of midfield attributes Toure can offer, being a big physical specimen as well as technically tidy, plus a skillful passer with a lethal long-range shot.
The Reds can be rolled over at times centrally, and Toure could prove a tonic able to drive them forward.
If the Ivory Coast international wishes to stay put in England, or even in the Northwest, Liverpool may not be the only Merseyside club that are keen.
The Toffees are starting to loosen the purse strings, and could make Toure an offer he can’t refuse. Perhaps the next big money project in the Premier League, it would be an apt move following a Citizens stint. Plus, Everton have already added African influence to central midfield with Idrissa Gueye.
With Muhamed Besic and James McCarthy injury-prone, the prospect of Toure, Gueye and Ross Barkley making up a trio sounds like a powerhouse and much of an improvement on options such as Gareth Barry, Tom Cleverley and Darron Gibson.
If Everton have the ambition it could be possible, though Toure does not immediately stick out as a Ronald Koeman player.
Kolo just swapped Liverpool for Glasgow to join former boss Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, so why couldn’t younger Toure brother Yaya follow suit?
The Bhoys might have it all to do to offer competitive wages to the Premier League winner, but Kolo and Yaya have enjoyed playing together before and a reunion could trump other offers.
With Celtic there would certainly be domestic trophies on offer plus a chance to play in Europe. While, Toure would dominate the Scottish Premiership, potentially adding years on to his career.
Inter have long been linked with a swoop for Sky Blues star Toure, but that was under former boss Roberto Mancini, who coached the dynamo previously at Man City.
Now that the Nerazzurri have dumped Mancini from the dugout again, though, will Dutch replacement Frank de Boer still be interested in adding a big name with big wages to his squad?
Linked to a traditional Clockwork Orange pass-master such as Daley Blind, Toure seems far removed from that nimble ilk. Yet, Inter can’t afford to be too choosy and still look the best bet to bring the Ivorian to Serie A where he could still play at a high level for years to come.
Dominant Italian giants Juventus have also recently emerged as another in the ring for Toure’s transfer, as they seek a similar all-rounder to Paul Pogba. Yet, having already spent huge amounts on superstar striker Gonzalo Higuain, as well as a wealth of other additions, it seems unlikely.
Ligue 1 big-guns PSG possess a wealth of top midfield options already in Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot and Grzegorz Krychowiak, but they are targeting Champions League success (and are 16/1 to win it with Coral).
As a player with spades of experience and who has enjoyed European Cup victory with Barcelona previously, Toure could be the headline showbiz signing the Parisians have lacked this summer, and one to provide nous on the continent.
Requiring a more competitive squad and depth to truly compete with Real Madrid and co in Europe, the French capital club could be a genuine exit route from the Etihad able to pay top wages for Toure, who would again offer something different to, and complement, the current midfield crew.