Former Manchester City winger Trevor Sinclair believes Yaya Toure could still have a future with the club, but acknowledges the Ivorian’s past with Pep Guardiola might not bode well.
Toure turned 33 this week and travelled with the City squad to face Swansea City on Sunday – concluding a campaign where his capabilities as a game-changing midfielder have been on the wane.
Over the past six seasons, Toure has been a central figure in City winning every major honour in English football under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, having joined from Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2010.
Guardiola’s willingness to dispense with a version of Toure closer to the peak of his powers then means the 45-year-old might not be overly concerned by jettisoning the player when he arrives as Pellegrini’s successor for next term.
Inter are reportedly interested in securing Toure’s services, but ex-England international Sinclair thinks he still has something to contribute over the remaining 12 months of his contract at the Etihad Stadium in a reduced capacity.
“Will he go? Possibly,” Sinclair told Omnisport. “But I think Toure’s still got a lot to offer the club.
“I’m not sure he’ll play 40 to 50 games a year but, as a player to play in big games, I think he’s still got something to offer.
“This is all guessology. I’m sure Pep knows what he wants.
“He’s already got rid of Toure when he was at Barcelona so it’s probably not looking very favourable for him.”
Even if Toure remains in Manchester, Sinclair feels it will collectively be the end of the road for an established core of players who have transformed City’s misfortunes over recent years.
Experienced stars such as injury plagued captain Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva are all over 30 and have struggled for form at fitness this season.
“I think there’s quite a lot of the old guard who have been amazing servants for the club that are going to be leaving,” Sinclair added.
“The standards are very high at the football club and certain players haven’t quite retained those standards.
“I don’t think it’s for the want of trying I just think they’re getting towards the end of their careers and a lot of their better work is behind them. I think there’ll be a few of those players sacrificed.
“Like I say, they’ve been great servants but the writing’s on the wall that Pep wants to bring a young, energetic, dynamic [type of] player and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of new faces.”