Yaya Toure: I will stay at Manchester City for as long as possible

The 31-year-old Ivorian has been the subject of much speculation in 2014 that he might leave the Etihad Stadium but says he is “very happy” to be back for pre-season

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is adamant that he wants to remain at the club for “as long as possible”.

The 31-year-old reportedly came close to leaving earlier this year after his agent, Dimitri Seluk, claimed that Toure felt “disresepected” by the club after not being wished a happy birthday in May, while Toure himself also expressed an interest in joining Paris Saint-Germain.

Toure has previously said both that fans should “not take words that do not come from my mouth seriously” but that “everything Dimitri said is true [and] he speaks for me”, though now insists that he was “always quiet” on the subject of his happiness and future.

The Ivorian told the club’s official website that he is intent on staying, adding his belief that he handled the speculation surrounding an exit from the Etihad Stadium correctly at the time.

Toure explained: “It was not the case about leaving the club, it is difficult because my situation was quite difficult. When we need to do something, we needed to do a statement. For me it was normal … I was always quiet.

“At the end of the day it’s my decision. If you say that, I will say it. If you don’t like that, I will say it again and, if you like it, I will say it, and for me it was the right way and I will stay at Man City as long as possible.”

Toure was an integral part of Manuel Pellegrini’s title-winning side, scoring 20 times in 35 league games last term, but insists that City will have to focus ahead of the 2014-15 season given the array of talent flooding to the Premier League.

“Now I’m very happy to be joining the team and the manager because he’s a fantastic manager,” he enthused. “Everybody is very happy, it is positive. Last year was a good season.

“This year will be amazing because all the big teams are signing good players. For me, first of all it was good to bounce back.”

Toure admits that the last few months had been difficult for his family after his brother, Ibrahim, passed away following a long battle with illness.

“I’m feeling fine,” said the midfielder. “It’s good to start training again. It’s been a difficult pre-season. Unfortunately it was a difficult summer for my family.

“When you lose a brother it is always difficult and he was young, too. We were very sad, all the family. We need to move on and pray for him.

“He was my brother, he loved football. When he was sick in Manchester he was watching every game I was playing in. After them I was coming to see him in hospital.

“I think we need to try to move on and try to think about the next step.”

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