The fallout from Manchester City vice-captain Yaya Toure’s ‘birthday hell’ continues, with the midfielder adding oxygen to the transfer flames engulfing the Etihad by stating that ‘football is moving fast and you never know about tomorrow’.
Toure’s chances of escaping the blue half of Manchester don’t look great, with bwin going 1/4 that he’ll still be a Citizen by the start of September and pricing up prospective suitors Barcelona and Chelsea at 5/1 and 33/1 respectively to pick him up before then.
The 82-cap Ivory Coast star posted career-best goalscoring figures of 24 in all competitions in 2013/14 and he will be vital to the Elephants’ attempts to successfully traverse a World Cup group stage for the first time at even-money odds.
However, signing the 31-year-old at this point in his career makes little financial sense, as Toure has three years to run of a reported £220,000-a-week pay deal and would cost almost enough money on his own to risk Financial Fair Play sanctions next season.
Furthermore, it’s difficult to see where he would fit into Chelsea’s formation, as Jose Mourinho tended towards a 4-2-3-1 in his first term back at Stamford Bridge, with Eden Hazard, Oscar, Mohamed Salah, Andre Schurrle and Willian sharing attacking-midfield duties.
At present, Toure plays in a deeper role alongside Fernandinho and joins in attacks when City break, an instinct he would have to curb if replacing one of Nemanja Matic or Ramires in the middle of the park under the Portuguese.
Midfield clearly isn’t an area in great need of strengthening at Chelsea and Mourinho – who bemoaned the lack of form his centre-forwards showed in 2013/14 on more than one occasion – would be better served swooping on City for the man he stated should have been named player of the year.
Edin Dzeko is three years younger than Toure, scored two more goals in all comps this term and – most importantly – plays up front.
Dzeko forced his way into Manuel Pellegrini’s first-team plans after being used sparingly in the very early days of the Chilean’s tenure and started ten of City’s last 12 Premier League games, but with only a year left on his contract a potential move away from the north west has recently been rumoured.
Much is expected from the Bosnia and Herzegovina hotshot at the World Cup, where the Balkan debutants are fancied at 17/20 to emerge from a Group F that also contains Argentina, Iran and Nigeria.