Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I'll Give My All for This Club TOURE:

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

I'll Give My All for This Club TOURE:

Article excerpt

PEP Guardiola got into the Christmas panto spirit by sneaking up behind Yaya Toure as the City man was being interviewed.

The Blues boss overheard the press questioning the Ivorian about his future, shortly after helping City beat Arsenal, and cocked an ear into the conversation for a comedy moment.

But when the laughter had died down, it left a serious question hanging in the air - does the revitalised Toure have a future at City beyond this summer? That would have brought gales of laughter just a few months back, when the Blues were open to offers for the player, as Ilkay Gundogan was seemingly brought in as his replacement.

And the laughs would have been transformed into derisive jeers in September, when the fall-out between Guardiola and Toure's loose-cannon agent Dmitri Seluk saw the player exiled from the side.

But that problem has been resolved, Toure has shed the excess weight which originally saw him sidelined, and he has proved he still has plenty to offer in the Blues midfield. And with Gundogan out for the season, Toure suddenly becomes a key man for Guardiola - although the big man bridles at the suggestion that he was ever anything less.

He turned down the chance of a huge pay rise to play in China in the summer, and recently hinted that he still has one last gift for the City fans.

And he revealed why they retain a special place in his heart, saying: "I will give 100 per cent for this club, for these fans.

"These fans are the only ones who sing my name.

"I have played a lot of football when you look at all my stats, but at City, the fans at this club are the ones who always sing my name, give this happiness to the family. If I can do more, I will do it."

Toure has not exactly been re-born under Guardiola, but he is slimmer, works smarter and harder, and gives City the midfield control that the manager craves.

And he says he has no hard feelings about the exile. …

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