Departing Man City star Yaya Toure rules out Middle East move, targets Premier League stay

Alam Khan 11/05/2018
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Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure has ruled out a big-money move to the Middle East to finish his career in English football.

The 34-year-old enjoyed an emotional farewell after eight years at Manchester City on Wednesday as the Etihad outfit beat Brighton 3-1 in their final home game of the Premier League season.

Toure was lauded a club legend as he rounded off his City career with a third title.

But, linked to Burnley, Wolves and Everton, he could yet be facing Pep Guardiola’s side next season as he said he would not be chasing riches from clubs in the UAE, Saudia Arabia, Qatar or the Far East.

“Definitely there have been other clubs [making inquiries] but I have to compare all the situations and if it’s good for me or not,” said Toure.

“I will have to take time, thinking as always to choose the right one. Of course I want to stay in England, continue to play and continue to enjoy.

“I have maybe one or two years more to play. To go to China or Abu Dhabi, it looks for myself to get more money. Of course people are going to be happy to get more money, but, for me, that’s not my point of view.”

Having helped turn City into one of the world’s leading clubs since joining from Barcelona in 2010, Toure believes they have a “bright future” as they prepare for new challenges next season.

No team has defended a Premier League title since Manchester United did it in 2009 and the Ivorian midfielder said: “Yes, of course [they can stay at the top]. That’s what we think about and the club think about.

Signing off: Yaya Toure.

Signing off: Yaya Toure.

“The most important thing was finishing this story because I came for this.

“The Premier League is the toughest in the world and I hope they are going to respond to the challenge because next season is going to be tougher.

“Manchester United did it three times in a row, after that it has been difficult to do that [defend the title]. Even Chelsea, they won the league last season and now you see how they are. This league is so tough, with the money all the clubs have, the football is more difficult.

“City spent money to bring in players and now the club is great with a bright future. They have a good manager and we will see what they do next season.”

Toure also expects Kevin De Bruyne to continue his fine form and step up as one of the leaders once he departs.

“I think he’s going to carry on like that,” he added. “You have to keep your mind fresh and continue to work hard. The most important thing is when everything is good it’s OK, but when it’s bad, that time is when you want to see the real champion.

“Next year I will be out and he is going to have this [stronger] mentality. David Silva has two years more, Vincent Kompany, I don’t know, but Kevin is the youngest one. With [Leroy] Sane, Raheem [Sterling], the future looks bright for this football club and I hope it’s going to continue in that way [of dominance].”

With a training pitch at the City Football Academy named after him and a mosaic of him in action, City have honoured Toure’s contribution to the club.

And he added: “I want to thank Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon. It’s something very important [naming the pitch after me], when the club show you sympathy and love and know what I have done for this club and they show that. That’s why they put this pitch in. I’m proud of this and the kids are going to remember me and it will stay a long long time. I am very happy and proud, few African players have received this.

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Antoine Griezmann would be a bargain at €100m, says Atletico Madrid teammate Filipe Luis

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Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis admits the club would be letting Antoine Griezmann go on the cheap if his 100 million euro buyout clause is met this summer.

Griezmann has insisted he wants his future resolved before the start of the World Cup, amid speculation the striker is set for a move to Barcelona.

Barca striker Luis Suarez has spoken about Griezmann as though a deal has already been agreed, prompting Atletico’s chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin to say they were “fed up” with the behaviour of the Catalan club.

Griezmann could leave Atletico on a high by winning the Europa League final against Marseille next week.

“Griezmann is cheap, for sure, at 100 million euros in this market,” Filipe said.

“It will seem even cheaper if he plays well in the final. That is the reality, but neither Griezmann, nor the rest of us, are thinking about this. After the final yes, but not before.

“We all want to win and it has no effect. We are delighted to play with him, but we are not just Griezmann, many players have worked hard to make this final.

“Without doubt he has been our most decisive player this season, so we want him to stay. But what happens afterwards is something completely separate from what happens this week.”

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Edinson Cavani headlines our Rumour Mill as Atletico Madrid move for PSG star

David Cooper 10/05/2018
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Edinson Cavani

The summer transfer window is now a month away and the rumours of players potentially being on the move is gathering pace.

Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen when the market reopens in June.

Get in touch with your thoughts too via Twitter and Facebook.

EDINSON CAVANI

Atletico Madrid have reached an initial agreement to sign the Paris-Saint-Germain striker, according Mundo Deportivo.

The Uruguayan is said to feel unsettled in the French capital following the arrival of Neymar in August.

The 31-year-old, who has spent nearly five seasons at the Parc des Princes, is ready for a new challenge with those at Wanda Metropolitano keen on securing his services.

Cavani has been in stunning from this season, scoring 42 goals in 53 matches in all competitions for Unai Emery’s side.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC

Manchester United are interested in singing the resourceful Borussia Dortmund star, the Sun reports.

The 19-year-old has been in impressive form for club and country – and is an icon in the American sports market.

The Red Devils have longed been linked with a move for the USA star and it looks likely Pulisic could sign for the Old Trafford outfit this summer.

Pulisic would slot straight into the Red Devils attack due to his versatility, with him being equally effective as either a winger or in a more central position.

NICLAS FULLKRUG

Three clubs will enter a bidding war to sign Hannover’s 25-year-old German striker, with Leicester, Newcastle and Watford all interested, the Leicester Mercury reports.

Fullkbrug is one of the hottest properties in the Bundesliga after scoring 15 goals in 35 games as he helped his club to mid-table safety.

The Foxes are looking for a reliable frontman to partner Jamie Vardy, while Toon boss Rafael Benitez is on the hunt for a prolific marksman.

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