Kolo Toure’s medal throwing antics at the end of the Community Shield gave the clearest indication that the centre back is set for a move away from Manchester City.
Toure threw his winners medal into the crowd before arguing with City boss Roberto Mancini after his side’s 3-2 victory over Chelsea. The 31-year-old is thought to have been angered by the Italian’s decision to start Stefan Savic ahead of him and was insulted further when left back Gael Clichy was brought on to play in a three man defence.
Toure, who has 12 months remaining on his current contract, has been the focus of much speculation this summer but recently stated he was happy with the club and was committed at least until the end of the season.
Yet after Sundays outburst it seems unlikely that we will see the Ivorian in a City shirt again, so who could he be turning out for next season?
- Prior to his declaration of commitment to City, Toure admitted he had spoken with the Turkish club. The £3 million being demanded by City and the £120, 000 a week wages are thought to have been a stumbling block in negotiations. However, with the his relationship with Mancini at rock bottom, both the club and the player may be convinced to lower their demands so to secure a move. Finances aside, Toure’s meeting with Bursaspor suggests he could no welcome a move to Turkey and this seems his most likely destination.
- A surprise suggestion, but it has been reported that the Catalan giants are interested in the former Arsenal player. Toure’s versatility makes him an attractive option for Tito Vilanova who is looking for a cheap squad player comfortable in midfield and defence. Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique are supported only by the inexperienced Marc Bartra and Marc Muniesa and Toure’s experience should appeal to Barca, who were forced to use Javier Mascherano in defence last season. With money expected to be an issue, Vilanova will think nothing of the £3 million required for Toure’s services. Similarly, the defender should welcome the chance to join Barcelona which could convince him to reduce his wage demands.
- The most unlikely move of the three, but Toure has been linked with a move to the oil rich Saudi club. The centre back is believed to want to remain in the Premier League if possible and a move to Al-Hilal would effectively end his competitive career. Yet the perks are plentiful. At 31 and with his best years seemingly behind him Toure may motivated by the opportunity to get one last pay day at a club where his wage demands would not be an issue. He wants regular first team football, but should he not receive suitable offers the chance to earn big money in less than challenging league may be too good to turn down.