Yaya Toure’s Manchester City future hangs in the balance. The Ivorian looks set to claim his first start on Wednesday and must impress to avoid an acrimonious second exit under Guardiola.
After City’s 5-0 dismantling of Steaua Bucuresti last week in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifier, Guardiola is afforded the opportunity to take a final look at Toure in the return leg.
Yet to feature, it seemed a forgone conclusion that he would again be shown the exit door by Pep for the second time in his career.
However, Guardiola then went on record, citing Yaya’s work rate off the ball as the reason for his absence. While it may leave the door open for a return should improvements be made, there is no guarantee that he will be a City player come September.
If he fails to impress Pep Guardiola, we highlight three possible destinations for the Ivorian midfielder.
The transfer of Toure to Inter Milan and Serie A seems to make sense. Reunited with his former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, Yaya could hopefully regain his form and enjoy an Indian summer in Italy.
Then Mancini was out, and Frank de Boer was in.
Toure’s basic wage of £200,000 a week was always a stumbling block. This coupled with a new manager in place seems to spell the end for this deal.
SHANGHAI SIPG / JIANGSU SUNING FC (CHINA)
If Yaya Toure is concerned about his salary first, look no further than the Chinese Super League.
Shanghai SIPG and Jiangsu Suning both reportedly made offers earlier this year, including wages in excess of £300,000 a week, which at Toure’s age could certainly represent his last chance to secure a major payday.
While Toure still yearns to compete in one of Europe’s top leagues, the allure of a massive financial deal may sway both his and Manchester City’s decisions this month.
ARSENAL FC (ENGLAND)
The one that got away.
After a trial and an appearance in a summer friendly for the Gunners, Yaya Toure and Arsenal went their separate ways in 2003.But Arsene Wenger still laments the way it all happened and with the fans crying out for a star addition, he may feel that the time is right to make amends.
Unlikely? Yes. Fascinating? A more resounding yes.