Yaya Toure has dropped a shock hint he’d be open to a transfer to Manchester United as he prepares to leave Manchester City this summer.
The legendary Premier League midfielder is technically still under contract at City until the end of June, as per Transfermarkt, though it has previously been confirmed he won’t be staying on at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola was quoted as saying so earlier this month in the Guardian, with Toure no longer a regular in the City first-team, playing just ten Premier League matches in the season just gone.
Still, having been one of the best players in the world in his position for many years, it could be that big clubs would still be interested in snapping him up this summer.
Toure himself seemingly still harbours ambitions of playing at the top level for a little longer, and bizarrely dropped hints in United’s direction before backtracking in an interview with the Manchester Evening News.
When asked light-heartedly about replacing the retiring Michael Carrick in United’s midfield, Toure replied: ‘Yeah he just left. Let’s see, let’s see.
‘I don’t rule big teams out. The big teams are very important for me. What they want to achieve, the way they want to go, for me is very important.
‘I want to go somewhere I can win and achieve. It’s going to be hard one day to play against City, but I have to do that. It is part of my job.
‘To see myself at a different club is going to be difficult. I have been such a big part of City for such a long time now. I just want to say that definitely I will continue to play at a high level – Champions League or Europa League.
‘I want to play two more years. They have to be in the higher level and then I can do something else.’
When pressed about possibly moving across Manchester to the Red Devils, Toure then seemed to have a change of heart, adding: ‘No, no, no, no. The fans are going to kill me!’
A few players have crossed that divide in recent times, with Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves swapping United for City earlier this decade.
Toure fuelled speculation further by stating his desire to play with United midfielder Paul Pogba.
‘It is a player I want to play with, to be honest, just to teach him some things,’ he said.
‘Pogba is a great player. He’s a fantastic player.’
At 35 years of age and with his City connections this move perhaps seems unlikely, but it’s intriguing to see the player do so much to talk the move up himself.
It would be fascinating to see how United fans could take to him, with Pogba surely able to benefit from playing alongside a formerly world class midfielder he should be looking to emulate.