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Toure vows to stay and fight at Liverpool

ESPN staff
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Kolo Toure has declared that he wants to fight for his Liverpool place rather than move to Turkish club Trabzonspor.

Toure lost his Anfield first-team place in February and his chances of getting it back have been hampered by the summer signing of Dejan Lovren from Southampton.

Lovren is expected to be a first choice this coming season and Martin Skrtel is the favourite to partner him in central defence, with Mamadou Sakho the likely back-up. That has left questions over the futures of both Toure and Daniel Agger, both of whom have been linked with moves away.

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Trabzonspor president Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu declared on Tuesday that he was confident of taking Toure to Turkey. However, the 33-year-old believes Liverpool's busy schedule this season - which will include at least six Champions League matches - will give him chances to play if he stays.

He says that he has been told by manager Brendan Rodgers that he still has plenty to offer at Anfield, even if he is not a regular.

Toure told Sport Ivoire: "Trabzonspor are interested in me, but I am happy to be a Liverpool player - especially as the coach reiterated his confidence in me for what I bring to the group.

"He wants to keep me to help Liverpool cope with all the competitions they are in. It's true that I have to look at all possibilities. If I sense there's a need to leave, then I will see.

"There's a possibility that I may need to drop into a lesser league to earn more playing time, but I am a battler and I have decided to stay at Liverpool. It's true that things can change at any time. For the moment, I repeat, I am at Liverpool and I hope to stay at the club. "For now, Trabzonspor is a no. But in football, anything can happen."

Toure, though, has acknowledged that his chances will be limited by staying at Anfield.

He said: "I know what to expect, but there will be lots of matches in the Premier League and Champions League, and I now I will have time to prove that I'm still hungry. I know I will not play every game, that's for sure."

Toure, a free transfer signing from Manchester City in July 2013, was a Liverpool regular during the first three months of the season as Rodgers reshuffled his defence frequently in a bid to find a successful combination at the back.

But a poor performance in a 3-1 defeat at Hull City on December 1 cost him his place, which he only regained when fellow centre-back Agger suffered a calf injury in early January.

Toure was then dropped again after a couple of significant errors that cost Liverpool goals in matches at West Brom and Fulham in February and did not start another league game before the season's end.

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