Speculation suggests Yaya Toure’s Manchester City stay is nearing its conclusion but rather than be enticed by the lucrative semi-retirement on offer elsewhere, it’s refreshing to see the Ivorian isn’t done with the league that made him just yet.
This appetite to continue playing in England, even if that’s not under the tutelage of incoming City boss Pep Guardiola, should ignite plenty of interest from other Premier League outfits in the 33-year-old midfielder’s services.
Given modern-day levels of fitness, being the other side of 30 is no longer considered the pariah it once was, and while the Ivorian’s peak marauding years may be behind him, there’s plenty of life in those sizeable legs.
Here are three clubs that seem tailor made to offer Toure junior the Premier League employment he craves, should his glorious spell with the Citizens end this summer.
Roberto Martinez controls a hugely talented group of players, though there is also a case to be made that the squad is short of tried and tested winners. That could yet change with FA cup glory still on the table, but in Premier League terms they’ve underachieved in 2015/16. Being mindful of cramping Ross Barkley’s style is paramount, though a midfield containing Toure alongside the young Englishman next term would certainly pack a punch.
Judging by recent transfer windows the Potteries has become a destination under Mark Hughes and with that Stoke’s attraction to the likes of an ageing Toure is heightened considerably. The midfielder could add the biggest dose of sex appeal to the Stoke line-up yet. Also, the cynic could point out that the Britannia Stadium being in the general vicinity of Manchester is also a plus for a player known to be well settled.
Along those lines, Anfield’s appeal is greatly strengthened by the presence of older brother Kolo who has clearly been a big influence on his career. The Ivorian siblings played together at the Etihad and would happily do it again by all accounts. Whether Kolo will still be a Liverpool player next season is questionable though as is Jurgen Klopp’s attitude towards Yaya’s abilities.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.