Toure: Manchester City have spent a lot of money … now it's time we delivered

Though Manuel Pellegrini’s side are up against it to beat Barcelona in the Champions League, the Ivorian urges his side to repay the club for their huge investment

Manchester City star Yaya Toure has urged his team to prove their big money transfer fees against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men are facing a last-16 exit as they head to Camp Nou trailing 2-1 after a disappointing home defeat.

Defeat would bring to an end another disappointing European campaign, despite the club’s massive financial outlay on players in recent years, and Toure says it’s time to deliver.

“The club have been spending a lot of money to build the best players, try to make this club great and one of the top in Europe,” he told reporters.

“Now we have such a little bit of difficulty but I can say we continue to work hard because it’s not the first time we’ve been in this situation.

“We have the belief of the team and, as well, we know our fans will back us again because it’s going to be a tough game against Barcelona. We need to turn back this tide and we try to do it for the fans and for the club and for the people who continue to help us.”

Toure also backed captain Vincent Kompany, who has come in for criticism in recent weeks, to bounce back. The Belgium international was partly responsible for City’s shock 1-0 Premier League loss to Burnley, with his headed clearance falling for George Boyd to fire in.

“Well, I think Kompany, for me, is ready. I think every player, at some time, have some doubt, some problems,” the midfielder remarked.

“What is part of the football isn’t part of the year. Sometimes you will find ups and downs but I think he’s fully focused because this game is very, very important for us, for the club and as well for the fans. To pass this stage, we need to deliver and I hope we will deliver.”

Pellegrini: Manchester City must show we are one of Europe's best

The Chilean calls on his side to finally show their class against Barcelona in the Champions League, while he insists that his job will not be on the line if City are knocked out

Manuel Pellegrini has called on his Manchester City players to prove that they are capable of competing with the biggest teams in Europe as they look to overcome Barcelona at Camp Nou.

The Catalans claimed a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, with Luis Suarez scoring twice before Lionel Messi missed a stoppage-time penalty, meaning that City need two unanswered goals in normal time to progress.

The Premier League champions have yet to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition despite their dominance domestically and Pellegrini hopes that his side can finally show their quality on the European stage.

“This is a good chance for us. Last year, if we had played against another team [other than Barcelona] in the last 16 then we might have gone through,” the Chilean told reporters.

“It’s a good opportunity to prove we are one of the best teams in Europe and the only way to do that is to beat big teams like Barcelona.

“We all know Barcelona. We all know Messi is playing well. All of their players are dangerous but we need to go out there and try to score first. We want to be in the quarter-finals so we will go out there and try to win.”

Having slipped up at Burnley and fighting just to cling onto second place in the Premier League table as their title hopes evaporate, Pellegrini is under increasing pressure – though he does not feel that his job is on the line.

“There is no strange atmosphere at Manchester City,” insisted the former Real Madrid and Malaga boss. “We are still second in the Premier League, still going strong and we are going to try to prove that [on Wednesday].

“I don’t think my job is in danger at the moment. I don’t feel any pressure … I just concentrate on playing the right game.”

Having been suspended for the first leg, meanwhile, Yaya Toure will return to the side for the trip to Camp Nou – where he played for three years – and Pellegrini believes that the Ivorian makes City a more dangerous team.

“I always say that we can play without Yaya and win without him but I would prefer to have Yaya in my team because he is a very important player,” he added. “For our team he is very important.”

'Yaya is like a son to me' – Mancini talks up Inter bid for Toure

The Nerazzurri boss – who brought the Cote d’Ivoire captain to the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2010 – has reiterated his desire to be reunited with the midfielder at San Siro

Roberto Mancini admits Inter would love to sign Manchester City star Yaya Toure this summer, revealing that the Ivorian is like a son to him.

Toure has appeared unsettled on several occasions during his five-year stay at City, often voicing his discontent through outspoken agent Dimitry Seluk – most notably last summer when he felt the club had not adequately celebrated his birthday.

And Mancini – who brought Toure to the Etihad Stadium from Barcelona for £25 million (€35m) in the summer of 2010 – has reiterated his desire to bring the Ivorian midfield powerhouse to Italy.

“Yaya Toure is like a son to me,” he told reporters at a press conference. ”If there was a chance of us signing him, we’d be interested.”

Toure, who led Cote d’Ivoire to Africa Cup of Nations glory earlier this year, has netted seven times in 21 Premier League appearances so far this season. 

Mancini went on to insist he is pleased with the commitment of his Inter players after a number of costly errors that led to a midweek Europa League defeat to Wolfsburg.

“The formation isn’t important; what matters is the character and mindset the players go out there with,” he said.

“No one’s let me down. When the players cross the white line they give 100 per cent.

“It was a very open match and we lost it because of our own mistakes – they’re part and parcel of the game.”

Inter lie six points off Fiorentina and the final European place, with the Milan derby to come next month.

“Cesena, Sampdoria, two more and then the derby. If we play these games well, we can close the gap,” he added.

“We’re a bit tired with all the travelling, but I doubt we’ll change much [for Sunday]. We’ll assess [Gary] Medel and [Rodrigo] Palacio.”

Mancini: Yaya Toure will only join Inter in Italy

The Inter coach is desperate to be reunited with the Cote d’Ivoire international, who is said to be considering leaving Manchester City this summer

Roberto Mancini says that Yaya Toure will join Inter if the Manchester City ace decides to move to Italy.

The Cote d’Ivoire captain still has two years to run on his contract with the Premier League champions but there is mounting speculation that he will leave the Etihad at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.

Former City boss Mancini has made no secret of his desire to be reunited with the midfielder and has now intimated that Toure has promised to join him at San Siro should the 31-year-old move to continue his career in Serie A. 

“If Yaya Toure comes to Italy, it will be only to join Inter,” the Nerazzurri boss told Gazzetta TV.

Mancini also revealed that he has already failed with one previous attempt to lure a City player to the Giuseppe Meazza, defender Micah Richards, who is currently on loan to Serie A side Fiorentina.

“I tried to bring Micah Richards here in January,” he said. “He was one of my players when I was at Manchester City, too.

“Fiorentina seemed open to the idea but it didn’t come off.”

Mancini boldly added that he fully expects Inter to compete for the Serie A title next season.

“Yes, next year we will be a Scudetto contender,” he stated. “This faith comes from what we are doing now. We have a great foundation.

“I see the guys improving all the time. Everyone is growing. Next year we can count on fighting with Juve, Napoli and Roma for the title.”

Yaya Toure convinced me to join Manchester City, admits Bony

The 26-year-old admits that the Cote d’Ivoire captain and his brother Kolo had plenty of great things to say about the Etihad Stadium

Wilfried Bony has revealed that Yaya Toure played a large part in convincing him to join Manchester City.

The 26-year-old striker sealed a £28 million (€39m) move to the Etihad Stadium from Swansea City in January as the Premier League champions looked to bolster their attacking options ahead of their title battle with Chelsea, and last-16 tie with Barcelona in the Champions League.

Bony completed his switch to City during Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign and the striker admits that talking to Yaya Toure, and his brother Kolo, paved the way for his transfer.

“I spoke a lot with Kolo and Yaya a lot because it was a massive move for me,” Bony told City’s official website.

“Kolo told me great things about his time at City, but mainly it was Yaya who was always talking to me and encouraging me to work hard and improve my game.

“More than anyone, Yaya told me that City was one of the greatest clubs in the world and said that if I had the opportunity to come here that I should take it with both hands – so I did.”

Bony scored the most Premier League goals of any player in 2014 but while Ivorian has not found the net in four appearances since joining City, he believes it is only a matter of time before that changes.

“When I first came to England there was big pressure because I was coming from Holland to the Premier League,” Bony said.

“At Swansea, I didn’t score in the first few games so there was more pressure again, but it’s just something you have to live with by improving and doing things better.

“This is a great move for me but I need to work hard, take my chances when they come along and it will get easier as I get to know my team-mates better and get a better understanding.

“I’ve only been here for two weeks so I’m just settling in, getting to know everyone better and they are getting to know me and what my strengths are, too.”