Pellegrini says Yaya Toure remains committed to Manchester City cause

Manager plays down talk of the Ivorian leaving the champions in the close season

Yaya Toure has suggested he could leave Manchester City in the close season, though Manuel Pellegrini has denied the midfielder remains unhappy after last summer's falling-out with the club.

Toure had a public dispute with the champions due to disquiet over the lack of club celebrations for his birthday, a couple of days after City won the Premier League title.

Toure, who is with Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts today, was asked if he wanted to stay at City.

“That’s a big question and that’s an easy question as well, and you have an easy answer – we’ll see,” the 31-year-old replied. Pressed if he would be at City next season, Toure said: “I don’t know. I’m at City at the moment.”


These comments were put to Pellegrini and the manager claimed: “Yaya is 100 per cent committed with our team and with this team. I don’t have any doubts about that.”

But asked why the Ivorian would admit he could leave if he was committed to the club, Pellegrini said: “I don’t think any of us know what will happen in six months more. We don’t know where you can be. We cannot know what will happen in the future. It’s not a problem with his commitment.”

Very expensive

City host Arsenal tomorrow and Pellegrini revealed that if the timing had been different he might have considered signing Alexis Sanchez, who joined the Gunners in July.

“It was not easy. He was a very expensive player in that moment. In the moment Barcelona sold him to Arsenal we were not searching for one striker because we had in that moment Jovetic, Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko but I am sure Alexis can play everywhere,” the manager said.

Of the qualities of the striker, who has scored 12 Premier League goals, Pellegrini said: “Alexis is a very good player, he is doing a very good season in England. It is not easy for a player in his first season here to score so many goals. Alexis is repeating what he did in the last two seasons at Barcelona and scoring a lot of goals.”

City’s 1-1 draw with Everton last weekend allowed Chelsea to take a two-point lead in the chase for the championship.

“I don’t know if we dropped two points or if we won one,” Pellegrini said. “It is difficult to know about that. Last year we draw here against Sunderland and it was a very important point to go on and win the title. We have to play 17 games more and that is 51 points.

“We can drop points and win the title. I am sure that all the teams will drop points between now and the end of the year. The less you drop, the better but it is important to try to recover to the top of the table in this month.”

City's€32 million signing of Toure's countryman Wilfried Bony was questioned by Jose Mourinho. Chelsea's manager said: "Good striker. If they have the money and no problems with FFP, well done. Rules are different for City."

“I don’t know what he said, so I cannot talk about that. Financial things are the same for all the teams,” said Pellegrini.

Sergio Aguero is now fully recovered following a knee injury. Samir Nasri, though, has a calf injury which means the midfielder will not play against his old club.

The manager offered an update on Vincent Kompany and Edin Dzeko's injury woes.

“Vincent is 100 per cent fit. He will be okay . . . We have some doubts about Edin. We must wait to see what the doctor says, what the player says and then we will decide.” Guardian Service