Yaya Toure Feels Disrespected at Manchester City, Could Take Article 17 Route Out of Club


Yaya ToureYaya Toure is fed up with Manchester City’s negotiating tactics, and he is considering leaving the club this summer.

Toure’s agent has given City until Saturday to offer his client a contract extension. If the Premier League club fails to do so, the Ivorian midfielder will leave the club after the 2012-13 season, the Mirror reports.

“If he signs a contract in the next three or four days, okay,” Dimitri Seluk said. “If not, we will not wait any longer and will start negotiations with different clubs.

“Today is Tuesday, so it means by Saturday. We will say, ‘Thank you. Okay. Yaya will leave in May.’

“I do not feel he will stay at City. This is not about money. He wants to leave for many reasons. He is one of the best players at the club but does not feel the respect of the staff. Only [manager] Roberto Mancini respects Yaya.

“It’s strange. It’s not normal to have negotiations for six months without a contract. They have been talking about small details all this time.”

The 29-year-old is arguably City’s most influential player, and one of the Premier League’s leading lights. His ability to control and alter games from the midfield is one of the chief reasons behind City’s rise to elite status in recent seasons.

Toure could invoke Article 17 of FIFA’s transfer regulations — the so-called “Webster Ruling” — under which he could buy out the remaining two years of his current contract and leave City as a free agent. Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, PSG and Barcelona are thought to be potential destinations for the player who joined City in summer 2010 for £24 million ($36.3 million).

Toure’s contract saga began just days after City won the 2011-12 Premier League title when Seluk told a Spanish radio station that Toure was looking for a new challenge. Many considered it a negotiating ploy on Seluk’s part. Discussions over a new contract have taken place at various times this season, but the parties have not been able to reach an agreement. In December, Toure said he wanted to finish his career at City, according to the BBC.

“I would love to end my career here,” Toure told City’s website. “Nobody knows what the next step is in football and I believe that if you stop dreaming, you should stop playing football, but this is where I want to be. There is no other place I would rather finish with and I want to continue winning titles and trophies with City.

“I believe we are just at the beginning of our journey,” he added. “We want to make history and that was part of my plan when I first signed. We’ve made a start but there is so many more chapters to be written.”

Last month, the Star reported that Toure’s camp has been expecting a five-year,  £55 million ($83.2 million) offer from City, but Seluk’s recent outburst suggests that it has yet to materialize. He could be trying to push City to make the offer quickly, and he is using Article 17 as leverage.

Should Toure actually leave the club this summer, it will strike a blow to City’s hopes of reclaiming the Premier League crown and becoming a European force in 2013-14.

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