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Toure commits to Manchester City

ESPN staff
July 18, 2014 « United flop Bebe eager for Benfica move | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Yaya Toure lifts the Premier League trophy with Manuel Pellegrini in May © Getty Images
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Yaya Toure plans to honour his contract at Manchester City and stay with 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 title from rivals Manchester United, but tension with the club was revealed through subsequent interviews and his agent had claimed his client was considering leaving.

But Toure has now made clear that any problems have been resolved. "The fans have always been good to me, they've always been good to my family," he told Sky Sports. "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."

Toure's agent Dimitry Seluk, who spoke before the player, 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%. He has a contract, he will work very hard and I hope this season he will be the best player in England.''

A rift between Toure and Manchester City have appeared clear since the midfielder's agent sparked a strange and strained period in the player's relationship with the club.

Seluk complained in May that the club had not shown him enough respect on his birthday. Toure was apparently upset with the way City marked his birthday during an end-of-season event in Abu Dhabi, with his representative insisting the club were not treating Toure like a hero even after his high-scoring form in their title-winning campaign.

Toure initially distanced himself from his agent's words, before tweeting that "everything Dimitry said is true" and promising an explanation after his involvement with the Ivory Coast at the World Cup.

Toure was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, from whom he joined City in 2010 and fuelled the fire by praising PSG and reminding fans that he had spoken of a desire to end his career at the Nou Camp.

Seluk then weighed into the debate once more, claiming Toure would be happy to stay at City if they guaranteed him a coaching role at the club after he retired. The agent insisted the demands had nothing to do with trying to engineer a bigger contract for his client, instead saying Toure needed to know City would acknowledge his efforts for the club.

Matters took a darker twist when Toure made an extraordinary claim that City had refused him time off when his dying brother. Ibrahim Toure passed away while his two older brothers, Yaya and Liverpool defender Kolo, were in Brazil on World Cup duty.

City denied that they had prevented Toure from seeing his brother, but the midfielder was adamant club officials had forced him to travel to Abu Dhabi for their post-season celebrations.

Now, Toure appears to have put any disputes with City behind him. "To be honest, we never wanted to talk about money," he said. "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."

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