Premier League - Yaya Toure '50-50' to stay at Manchester City

A day of confusion and farce surrounding Yaya Toure seemingly ended with the player expressing his unhappiness at Manchester City.

PA Sport
Premier League - Yaya Toure '50-50' to stay at Manchester City

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Yaya Toure reacts after scoring a penalty for Manchester City against Fulham (Reuters)

The influential midfielder first brushed off suggestions from his representative that he could quit City because he felt disrespected and strongly reinforced his commitment to the club.

But around an hour later, Toure issued statements in support of Dimitry Seluk, whose most remarkable complaint was that City failed to sufficiently acknowledge the player's birthday.

Toure tweeted: "Everything dimitry said is true. He speaks for me. I will give an interview after world cup to explain."

Seluk said Toure was "very upset" and there was a "big possibility" he could leave the club this summer because he felt under-appreciated.

He said the player found it particularly hurtful that no one from the club wished him a happy birthday when he turned 31 during last week's post-season trip to Abu Dhabi.

This grievance was soon exposed as untrue as media quickly picked up on a video published by the club last week, in which Toure was presented a birthday cake. City also tweeted a birthday message at the time.

That prompted Seluk to attempt to clarify his remarks by insisting those measures did not go far enough.

Seluk told BBC Sport: "None of them shook his hand on his birthday. It's really sick you know.

"He got a cake but when it was Roberto Carlos's birthday, the president of Anzhi gave him a Bugatti.

"I don't expect City to present Yaya with a Bugatti, we only asked that they shook his hand and said, 'we congratulate you'. It is the minimum they must do when it is his birthday and the squad is all together.

"It is an important human relationship to shake hands and say 'happy birthday' but nobody did it to Yaya. It shows they don't care about him.

"I hear one newspaper has written that City congratulated him from Twitter but this is a joke."

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City did not respond to these remarks - or the suggestion that they should have given Toure a £1.2m Bugatti Veyron, as Carlos received for his 38th birthday - but, given that Toure signed a new four-year contract last season, there was a feeling they may not have been particularly concerned.

In fact, Seluk does have a history of threatening his client's exit, having done so in each of the last two years at City and during his time at Barcelona.

Last year Seluk also demanded Toure's latest contract discussions be concluded by a certain deadline, only for that date to pass and Toure - with little apparent complaint - to sign a month later.

Seluk, however, insisted all his claims were genuine.

He told talkSPORT: "Honestly, it's not 100 per cent that he will stay at Manchester City, it's better to say 50-50.

"He has motivation to play well for City, he fights for City, but he feels he fights for the team and the club forget about him.

"It's very upsetting for him. When the club celebrated winning the Premier League, everything was good. Yaya had a great season and everybody at Manchester City was together.

"But nobody said congratulations to Yaya for his performances, and that made Yaya think the club don't respect him and don't give him enough attention.

"Of course it's not a question about the money."

Both the agent and player were starting to come in for ridicule on social media as the story gathered momentum when Toure weighed in.

Initially it seemed he had put an end to the matter as he tweeted: "Thanks for all the birthday messages today. Card from City just arrived... Must have got lost in the post. Haha.

"Jokes aside. Please do not take words that do not come out of MY mouth seriously. Judge my commitment to @MCFC by my performances."

Yet soon after, Toure appeared to perform a volte-face, changing his position and deleting the previous tweet.

"My agent was trying to make a point here on my behalf, joke aside. It seems important for me to make a statement..i am going to do so," he tweeted, before going on to back Seluk.

City have not commented but the speculation that could be created over his future may not be welcomed.

Toure was outstanding in City's latest Premier League title success, scoring 20 goals. He added four more in other competitions, including a spectacular strike in the Capital One Cup final win.

The veracity of the Sun's original story was thrown into doubt by the subsequent emergence of footage showing that the club produced a birthday cake for Toure during a team flight to the Middle East and the club also tweeted their birthday wishes to the midfielder.

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