You can be forgiven for thinking all is rosy on the blue side of Manchester. At the top end of the Premier League table, through to the Champions League knockouts for the first time and a place booked in the League cup final to boot, all is well at Manchester City surely?
The club have today though been rocked by the news that their star midfielder Yaya Toure has openly admitted considering a move across the pond to PSG. Asked about a move to Paris by French radio station RMC, he said:
“Why not? Everything’s going well with City at the moment, but you never know. When you have big teams like that, who already have big players, it’s obviously attractive. Being part of an adventure like that, a squad like that is exceptional.”
“My objective is always to work with big players. It helps you to get better and to learn many things. You never stop learning in football. For me PSG are a big club. They’re a big team, full of history, with all the great players they have at the moment.”
The question for City fans is whether this is simply a statement of his admiration for a club like PSG, or a genuine flirtation with a potential move? It does seem a little bizarre that a man playing for one of the best footballing sides in the world at the moment would even for a moment consider a move elsewhere.
City do though have a reason to be concerned, Toure is possibly the best midfielder in the league and a player central to their attacking menace. Whilst the club has the financial power to replace anyone, there just aren’t that many players comparable to the Ivorian in world football. Toure’s importance this term is underlined by his return of 14 goals so far, and he looks still to have been a relative bargain. A midfielder who is rare in his all round completeness, he has the physical presence to break up play and the swiftness of mind to engineer incisive attacks for his club.
The sense from Toure’s comments are that he really buys into the project at PSG and that isn’t at all surprising given the ambition being shown, but in my opinion he has unfinished business. Manchester City may be playing the best football in the league, but they are yet to dominate the country domestically on a regular basis, add to that failure in Europe and you can see a way to go before Toure’s work in England is done.
I personally don’t see a move away as being at all imminent, he has just signed a lucrative new £11m a year deal until 2017 and the club don’t appear to have any urge to sell. At the age of 30 Toure has one big move left in him, and it isn’t surprising that he has eyes to the future. However, given what he has left to achieve and contribute to his current employers I’d suggest his overtures are a little bit premature.
If this was any other club the Parisians would blow them out of the water, but City’s backers are unlikely to flinch regardless of how high PSG want to bid.
PSG may be a pre-retirement dream for Toure, but don’t expect it to be realised any time soon.