Kolo Toure has reiterated his desire to remain at Manchester City despite being pushed down the hierarchy of central defenders at the Etihad Stadium.
Toure now finds himself behind Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany, and with the summer arrival of young Serbian Matija Nastasic from Fiorentina, he has been pushed yet further down the City pecking order. It must be a further frustration to see his younger brother, Yaya Toure, cementing his place in the Man City midfield whist he remains in the wilderness.
Toure hasn’t featured in the Premier League since an error strewn performance at Anfield in August, and he did little to promote his case that he is worthy of a first team spot as he played in Man City’s surprising 4-2 home defeat by Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup.
In truth, he is still paying the price for his own mistake. He was banned for six months last year for failing a drugs test after taking one of his wife’s diet pills. Yet with Manchester City’s defence looking far from secure, the door may still be open for Toure to return at some point in the not too distant future. With City letting in an unusually high number of goals, Mancini could turn to Toure once more in an attempt to fix the leaking defence.
However, should Mancini decide that there is no space in his plans for Toure, shifting him may prove a difficult task. At 31, Toure is entering the twilight stage of his career, so any offers from other clubs is likely to be short term, something that Toure may not be keen on. Secondly there are few, if any, clubs who would be prepared to match the kind of financial incentives that he currently receives at Manchester City. If he is keen to play regular football, he is likely to have to accept a pay cut with opportunities at the Etihad looking increasingly limited.
This is an option that doesn’t seem to appeal to Toure however, and he insists he is prepared to fight on for a place back in the heart of Man City’s defence. He said, “I want to stay. I want to fight for my place. I do my best but the club are showing me the way out at the moment.” Toure is a good player, and was a central component in Man City’s maiden Premier League title last season after his return from the six month ban.
But with City seemingly keen to offload the Ivory Coast international, Toure may have to reluctantly accept that a move away from the Etihad is an inevitability.