Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has played down speculation suggesting he is not happy at the Etihad Stadium, talkSPORT understands.
Toure, who joined City from Barcelona in a deal worth £24 million in July 2010, was linked with a move away from Manchester in the summer following reports that he felt under-appreciated at the club.
“It’s a pity City pay big money, but do not understand that human relations mean more than anything,” said his agent, Dmitri Seluk.
Despite the aforementioned reports, the Côte d’Ivoire international, 30, has — for the most part — been very impressive for City this season, tallying seven goals and one assist in 16 appearances across all competitions.
With that said, former City striker Rodney Marsh remains concerned regarding the long-term future of Toure after questioning his performance, or lack thereof, in the club’s 1-0 loss at Sunderland last weekend.
“People close to Manchester City tell me Yaya Toure is not very happy and he’s one of their great players,” Marsh told talkSPORT.
“When you start to hear rumblings from within the camp, and you see the way Toure played last weekend, when he was strolling around and didn’t look interested, I’m wondering now if it will all go a little bit the other way.
“It looks like they’re throwing billions of pounds at players but keep coming up short. I think this season could end in tears at Man City.”
In response to the preceding rumours, the Ivorian tweeted: “Hey buddies, don’t listen to the rumors, I’m happy at City..the Toure brothers are in Casa and are missing Manchester.”
Toure, whose current deal at the Etihad Stadium expires in the summer of 2017, could earn up to £240,000-a-week this season. Pricey.
Now then, at the moment, City (6-1-4) are in eighth-place in the English Premier League table, six points adrift of leaders Arsenal.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side will play host to Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham Hotspur when Premier League play resumes on 14 November 2013.
Valdes backs Masip for Barca No. 1
FC Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes would be happy if Barcelona name home-grown product Jordi Masip as his replacement at the Camp Nou, according to Sky Sports.
Valdes, 31, has already confirmed he will be leaving Catalunya when his contract expires at the end of the season, meaning that Barcelona are in the market for a new No. 1.
Pepe Reina (Liverpool, on loan at Napoli), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea, on loan at Atletico Madrid) and Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Monchengladbach) have all been linked with the Blaugrana in recent times.
However, when asked about the prospect of Masip becoming the Barcelona No. 1, Valdes told reporters: ”This is the first time that I have been asked and I would really like it.
“I remember the day that Van Gaal asked me to step up and play for the first team.
“It would be great if it turned out that someone home-grown was given the chance, but I know how hard that can be.”
Masip, 24, has made 55 appearances for Barcelona II over the past four seasons.