Yaya Toure has long been a rumor mill favorite, especially when he appears to be unhappy with his club. He appeared unhappy with his club this week in an interview with L'Equipe in which he expressed frustration with his treatment by the media in general and in England in particular. Among a number of slights mentioned, Toure voiced his displeasure at suggestion he might be ready for a new challenge:
Journalists have spoken about a new departure for me. But what new departure? I have just come out of a season with City where we finished second in the English league, which is the hardest in the world.
Eager to make amends. the Daily Star responded with a story suggesting Toure might move to Manchester City stablemate, New York City FC in MLS. Per the Star, he wouldn't leave Manchester until his current contract expires in 2017, by which time he would be 34 years old.
MCFC head coach Manuel Pellegrini has already spoken out to defend his player against any interpretation of the L'Equipe interview that might suggest Toure wants to quit his current club:
Yaya is happy. He may have a few concerns about the criticism but that is different to being unhappy at the club.
As the Star points out, Toure's projected move to NYCFC would serve to keep him within City Football Group, and perhaps further illustrates the regard in which the player is held by Manchester City and its ownership.
Toure has been linked to NYCFC before, by his own words. A few months back, in an interview with the Manchester Evening News (as reported by Sports Illustrated), in the context of a turbulent summer of speculation, the midfielder reaffirmed his commitment to Manchester City, but acknowledged that commitment might lead him to MLS:
Manchester City is the right club for me to go out on top [with], but if I’m asked to come to New York City to continue to help City grow, I would do that for them.
So perhaps the Star's more recent story isn't idle rumor-mongering, but a restatement of an option Toure has already mentioned he will consider if and when the time is right.