Ever since ‘birthday cake gate’ upset Manchester City’s title-winning vibe in 2014, plotting Yaya Toure’s Etihad exit has been a popular pastime for many a sports writer, but only now does a parting of company seem realistic.
Deadline Day’s biggest splash, albeit a suspicion-confirming one, was greeted euphorically by the blue half of Manchester, though the Toure household may have been the exception to the rule.
While Pep Guardiola’s appointment promises to elevate City to a higher plain, the club’s iconic, if broody skipper knows he may not be around for the journey.
While a Barcelona player, Toure junior was gradually phased out by the Spanish manager in favour of Sergio Busquets in the heart of midfield, before City granted the seemingly unwanted Ivorian a chance to front up their own revolution.
The arrival of Bayern Munich’s outgoing boss and the players he is being linked with, mean that 32-year-old’s future is once again threatened by Guardiola’s arrival.
Approaching the climax of his sixth season as a citizen and his 33rd birthday in May, Toure finally making his Etihad bow to one of these four destinations feels most likely.
The morning gossip columns reckon Toure could be lured down the same dollar-laden path as recent Chinese Super League signings Ramires and Jackson Martinez.
New York City
The sister club of Man City must be an option, especially given Toure’s wide-reaching profile and the growing appeal of the MLS to ageing world stars
A club of great stature that Toure’s been linked to on numerous occasions. The pace of football in Serie A would seem a breeze to the marauding midfielder
If staying in the Premier League is paramount, then why not opt for the Potteries? He wouldn’t have to move house and Mark Hughes is increasing Stoke’s sex appeal season on season
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