Six months into contract negotiations with Manchester City, Yaya Toure has rocked the club by sensationally declaring his intention to walk out on them if he isn’t presented with a new deal by Saturday.
And with the Ivorian threatening to utilise the Webster ruling, City’s hands could be tied in their bid to hold on to one of their most influential players.
Toure collects an astronomical £220,000 per week at Eastlands, and his agent Dimitri Seluk insists that the former Barcelona star has not asked for an improvement on these terms.
He states that Toure’s frustrations stem simply from the length of time City have taken in negotiating the renewal of his contract, and at a perceived lack of respect he gets from senior figures at the club, with Roberto Mancini an exception.
Seluk told The Sun, “I do not feel he will stay at City. This is not about money. He wants to leave because of many reasons.
“He is one of the best players at Manchester City but does not feel the respect of the staff. Only (Roberto) Mancini respects Yaya.”
Thus, provided the Citizens fail to act swiftly, it would appear Toure could very well be on his way as early as May, with any number of European giants in the hunt for his signature.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG are among these, and any club making a move for Toure must have immense spending power.
Russia could prove his most likely destination though, considering the close links Seluk maintains with clubs of that country.
Under the Webster ruling, Toure would be allowed to negotiate with other clubs, with the outfit that eventually signs him having to pay the remainder of his wages as a transfer fee to City.
Although that would be a substantial amount for a player who earns as much as the 29-year-old, it means the fee on the table wouldn’t be an offer that the Citizens could simply refuse.
Instead, the Sky Blues would be forced to accept the cash for Toure, and the only way they can ensure this possibility doesn’t become a reality, is to tie the Ivorian to a new deal by this weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.