'No chance!' – Inter concede defeat in Yaya Toure race

The 51-year-old coach has made it clear the Serie A side will not sign the Manchester City star, after suggesting he is one of the best in the game

Inter coach Roberto Mancini has conceded the Serie A giants are unlikely to sign Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure this transfer window.

The Inter boss previously worked with Toure during his time in charge of City and was keen to lure him to San Siro ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

However, Mancini has now admitted there is little chance the 33-year-old will continue his career at Inter.

“I say that he remains one of the greatest midfielders around in the game,” Mancini told Sky Sports when asked about a potential move for Toure.


GOALREAD MORE  | OFFICIAL: Juan Jesus leaves Inter for Roma


“But I think there is no chance he will be joining Inter. We have no regrets, though.”

Toure has a contract with his current club until the end of the 2016-17 campaign, but his future at City is in doubt following the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager.

Guardiola deemed Toure surplus to requirements at Barcelona in 2010, offloading him to City.

Betting: Will Yaya Toure play a part in Guardiola's Manchester City revolution?

Although widely expected to leave this summer, the Ivory Coast midfielder now looks set to stay and fight for his place under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss

Having been sold by Pep Guardiola during his time at Barcelona, it would have been no surprise should Yaya Toure have feared for his Manchester City future upon the new manager’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium.

However, with the former Bayern Munich boss having reportedly told the Ivory Coast man he has a big part to play at the club this season, he is now priced at just 10/11 (1.91) with Skybet to stay with the Citizens beyond the current transfer window.

Nevertheless, having enjoyed a fair amount of success under the guidance of Roberto Mancini during his time in England, the 33-year-old is still on offer at a relatively short 2/1 (3.00) to be reunited with his former boss at Inter this summer.

One sticking point to any potential move would be the midfielder’s hefty wages, although that is unlikely to represent an issue for the various Chinese clubs currently tempting some of Europe’s biggest names East with the promise of vast riches.

After already raiding the Premier League for the likes of Graziano Pelle, Papiss Cisse and Ramires, China’s Super League is available at 5/1 (6.00) to secure probably their most high-profile signing in the form of a Premier League, La Liga and Champions League winner.

Also not short on cash thanks to their Russian oligarch owner Dmitri Rybolovev, AS Monaco can be backed at 16/1 (17.00) to tempt back the man who spent one season at the Stade Louis II between 2006 and 2007.

Formerly the destination of choice for ageing European-based stars before China’s recent rise to prominence, America’s MLS is on offer at 20/1 (21.00) to recruit Toure to play alongside the likes of Frank Lampard, Dider Drogba and Steven Gerrard.

Alternatively, Paris Saint-Germain are a 25/1 (26.00) shot to bring in the City star to fill some of the void left by star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has travelled in the other direction to local rivals Manchester United.

SkyBet – Bet £5 get £20 in free bets

'I'm counting on him!' – Guardiola happy with Yaya Toure reunion

The Catalan coach denied his protege at Camp Nou was set to be sold this summer, stating he would take time to evaluate him in pre-season before making a decision

New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola states he is counting on Yaya Toure ahead of his maiden season in the Premier League.

It was rumoured the Ivorian, who was sold by Guardiola in their time together at Barcelona, was set to be part of a major summer clearout at the Etihad Stadium.

Inter have been the favourites for Toure’s signature, with former City manager Roberto Mancini a known admirer of his ex-player.

However, Guardiola was happy to confirm he would be counting on the 33-year-old for now, even though he failed to rule out the midfielder being sold on. 


GOALREAD MORE Guardiola: I don’t have to win the Premier League


“All the players are coming back from holiday, they’re only beginning to train now. Not just Yaya, but everybody,” he told reporters at his first press conference as City boss.

“I’ve know Yaya for a long time. He did very, very well in Barcelona and here as well. He’s a huge, huge talent and of course all the players who are here right now count on me.

“After that we’re going to see what’s happening in the future. Not just in the case of Yaya, but the other players too. But Yaya is here, I count on him.”

Toure has made over 250 appearances in all competititons for City since joining them from Barcelona in 2010, winning two Premier League titles as well as an FA Cup in that time.

However, he was part of the club’s slump in the second half of last season that saw Manuel Pellegrini’s men fall out of contention for the title, prompting talk he was set to be sold.

Messi, Gomez & the Olympics – What will Guardiola say at first Man City press conference?

The Catalan’s previous unveilings at Barcelona and Bayern Munich provide a fascinating insight into how he will approach his first press conference as Manchester City coach


GOAL COMMENT

Pep Guardiola will outline his plans for Manchester City at his first official press conference on Friday afternoon, but we may already have an idea of what he will say.

Guardiola has already made a great impression on City fans following his appearance at the ‘Cityzens Weekend’ on Sunday, as well as his sit-down interview with Noel Gallagher.

But his methods will be put under the microscope, he will be questioned about the future of some club legends, and asked if he can deliver the domestic and European domination that his new employers so desire.

By using Guardiola’s first media conferences at Barcelona and Bayern Munich as clues, it is possible to get an idea of how the Catalan will approach his first months in charge at the Etihad Stadium.

Whether stressing Lionel Messi should feel that goals conceded are “partly his fault” or demonstrating the necessary self-confidence to take over at Barca and Bayern, Guardiola has come out with some fascinating insights in his two previous press debuts.

Here are some of the comments which are most relevant to his latest challenge…


COPING WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS


On June 17, 2008, Guardiola was unveiled as Barcelona coach after just one year in charge of the ‘B’ Team in the third division: “I don’t deny that I am here not because my year in the third division has gone well, but because of what I did here as a footballer. I don’t know if they would have gambled on me if I was just a third division coach.

“I’m sure that in a month, in a couple of months, those doubts will diminish, simply because I feel that I am prepared. But I understand completely that people may have doubts.”

“I’m convinced that the people will be proud of us. My challenge is to transmit my idea to the dressing room. I’m convinced that it will go well.”

Five years and seven days later, he faced the media at the Allianz Arena after taking over from the treble-winning Jupp Heynckes: “I have to accept the comparisons and I have to cope with them. There’s lots of pressure on me, but I am aware of that. I accept this huge challenge with no problems. That’s why I’m a coach.”

“I am ready for the challenge, regardless of whether Bayern are treble winners.”


THE PHILOSOPHY


The basic principles have not changed.

“I will try to convince the players of what I feel, without that I can’t win,” he told the press in Barcelona. “We have to go out and take the game to them, I am an absolute fan of attacking football. When I see the ball near the opposition goal, I’m calmer.

“I always think about how to damage a rival but that doesn’t mean that my forwards will attack better. The forwards will have defensive responsibilities and the defenders will have attacking duties.”

At Bayern, he said simply: “I love to attack. That is my footballing idea.”

But City fans should not expect the exact same possession game that was deployed at Camp Nou. Bayern fans were told: “Barcelona players have different qualities to those of Bayern. I need to adjust, the system does not.”


ON WORK RATE (EVEN FOR MESSI)


“The team will run, will give their all,” he said in 2008. “I believe in the strength of words, but I know they are not enough. The people will be proud because they will see that the players give everything on the pitch. The players have a great level, but everything depends on the effort of each one.”

“I’ll forgive anybody who plays well or badly, but not those who don’t give it their all.

And on the young Messi, he added: “He’s a player who we want to continue with us. I have a lot of faith in him. But we must not put all the weight of one club on the shoulders of one player. We will help him, we will try to make sure he does not pick up so many injuries, but he must feel part of a group and that when we concede a goal it is also in part his fault.”

Quite a marker to lay down!


OUT WITH THE OLD?


Back in 2008, and despite being doubted as too young and inexperienced, Guardiola came out all guns blazing: “Along with the coaching staff, we are forming a squad and Deco, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o are not in our minds, but we will see how it goes.”

Eto’o, of course, stayed around for another year but the other two were not so lucky. On Ronaldinho, he added: “If he feels that he wants to go back to being the player that he was, he would be here. But there’s a deterioration in the situation and the solution is to build a strong dressing room.”

Perhaps he decided to be less fortright when asked about Mario Gomez on his first day at Bayern: “All players have the same same value. He has his chance.” Two weeks later, however, Gomez was sold to Fiorentina.

There may not be many clues as to the futures of Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure and others just yet, then.


IN WITH THE NEW


Guardiola was in charge of pretty much everything at Barcelona, even if he posed with director of football Txiki Begiristain in front of the cameras on his first day.

“It’s me that finalises the signings, it’s me who decides,” he said back then, although now he will focus more on coaching. “I’m looking for a No.9, we need one, one who’s very good and can complement Henry and Bojan. The three should feel like starters.”

“I’ve read that we only sign defenders, but we will attack better if we have a better defence and we will defend better if we have a better attack.” Which helps explain why City want John Stones and have moved on to Leonardo Bonucci after being snubbed by Aymeric Laporte. All are adept passers.

At Bayern, his brief was slightly different. “When a team has won four titles, there are very few things to change. The team is very good!”

He did, however, focus on youth, which will be one of his remits at City: “I need to see. I must speak with [sporting director Matthias] Sammer. I’m sure that Bayern have good young players. I got a little information about these players during my year in New York.

“I need to see. And after that I will make a decision. Barca players won’t come to Bayern Munich just because I’m here.”


ON KELECHI IHEANACHO


Kelechi Iheanacho has admitted that he would like to have played for his country at the Olympics, but Guardiola is keen to keep him around for pre-season.

He was asked about the possibility of Messi and new signing Dani Alves going to the Beijing games: “Barcelona are obligated to send its players, in this case to the AFA or the CBF, although I personally would like to have all the players as soon as possible.”

Alves did not go, but Messi did. Guardiola sensed the Argentine’s desire to represent his country, and thought it would help make him a better, more crucial player for Barcelona. Each case is clearly different, as Iheanacho has discovered…

Man City chairman sanctions firesale

Khaldoon Al Mubarak has suggested there will be significant changes at the Etihad Stadium this summer as the Blues look to move on from the disappointment of last season


Manchester City have given the strongest hint yet that a significant number of the current squad will be shown the exit door this summer.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who has become known for his honesty regarding matters at the club, has already admitted that last season’s performance fell well below expectations back in Abu Dhabi, where City owner Sheikh Mansour resides.

A host of players are likely to leave this summer, including stalwarts Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta, as well as expensive flops Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony.

Incoming coach Pep Guardiola was given full backing to “transform the team to a whole new level” in the first part of Al Mubarak’s end-of-season interview, released on Sunday evening, and the Catalan will be given scope to discard those who underperformed in Manuel Pellegrini’s final campaign.

Al Mubarak also referred repeatedly to the need for passion and commitment, and it appears several players have fallen short of that requirement and will now be sold.

“We have to keep that balance between what we have built and the future,” Al Mubarakt told City TV. “We have to keep a balance between age groups, between young players and experienced players, and all this balance is really in the hands of Pep.

“Pep has a particular way he wants to manage the squad and a particular way he wants to play and I think we will need particular players who will join the team that fit and be moulded to the way he would like this team to play.

“There will also be some players that the time is right for them to move on. I think we will have some changes this summer. We will invest as we have always done in this club, in this team, and we will provide the necessary resources for Pep to build a team that has the ambition and the capability to go and win back this Premier League for us, to go as far as we can and try and win the Champions League and keep pushing at the cups.”

Willy Caballero, Aleksandar Kolarov, Martin Demichelis and Fernando are all facing up to futures away from the club, while there are also doubts surrounding Samir Nasri, and even Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart.

It is understood City had been open to the prospect of moving Kompany on earlier this year, but his four-month injury lay-off is thought to have scuppered those plans.

In the case of Hart, a summer exit for the highly regarded England No.1 remains unlikely, but any prospect of a rumoured £40 million bid from Everton would surely tempt City, with Guardiola known to be targeting a goalkeeper who fits more easily into his football philosophy.

And while City are willing to back Guardiola in the transfer market this summer, the club are also hopeful that the former Bayern Munich coach will find room for a number of young talents coming through the ranks.

Youngsters Bersant Celina, Aleix Garcia, Manu Garcia and Tosin Adarabioyo are all expected to play some part in City’s pre-season preparations this summer, while 16-year-old prospect Brahim Diaz has been tipped to get a taste of first-team action in the short-term future.

“That’s one of the reasons why Pep was so highly considered,” Al Mubarak said on the subject of youth. “That ethos we have at Man City that Pep… I think actually believes to the bone. He has done that with Barcelona, he has done that with Bayern Munich.

“Even with the abundance of talent he had with both first teams, Pep always has a knack for talent and he loves to find young players that have incredible talent. He finds that talent and nurtures it and you find them evolve and succeed at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“We have that at our club. We have incredible talent today. It’s the first time in the years since we have started this experience that truly, and at every level almost within the football club, we have incredible talent. We really do.

“This is an organisation that has won the Under-10 national championship, the Under-13s, Under-15s and the Under-18s this year. We are competitive with a lot of talent across all age levels going all the way to EDS and Pep, I think, will enjoy that and will find a lot of gems we are going to produce.”