Whispers are seeping through the internet regarding Yaya Toure’s Manchester City future, with former Etihad chief and current Inter gaffer Roberto Mancini adding fuel to the fire when stating ‘we’ll see what happens in the future…’ in reference to a move for his erstwhile charge.
After the remarkable wobbler Toure threw over the summer, when the player’s agent Dimitry Seluk suggested City weren’t nice enough to the powerhouse midfielder on his birthday, it would surprise few to see him leave the Premier League champions sooner or later.
You can have 7/5 with bwin.com that the 31-year-old does a bunk from the blue side of Manchester before 2015 is out, although Inter’s alleged opening bid of £7m seems way short of the mark for such a sought-after football practitioner.
Toure still has two-and-a-half years to run on his Citizens contract, and while owners Abu Dhabi United Group need to balance their books to fall in line with Financial Fair Play rules, there’s no way they’ll let him go on the cheap, despite of his advancing years.
As the above graphic indicates, Gabriel Batistuta’s move from Fiorentina to Roma in 2000 set a world record transfer for over 30s that is yet to be beaten, and the striker lived up to it by notching 20 Serie A goals in his first season at the Stadio Olimpico, having bagged 23 in his final term with La Viola.
At the cheaper end of the high-class veterans’ spectrum, Paris Saint-Germain pulled off a coup and a half when picking up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for £15.7m back in the summer of 2012, as part of a £51m deal with Milan which also saw Brazil captain Thiago Silva head to the French capital.
Zlatan has posted an astonishing tally of 91 goals in 111 all-competition outings for Les Parisiens, so he is surely considered a bargain.
Toure’s valuation sits somewhere between Batistuta’s and Zlatan’s, taking into account that there’s a decent chunk left on his City deal and Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have also been mentioned as potential suitors for the former Barcelona bruiser.
Lest we forget, Toure was the Premier League’s third-highest scorer last season with a whopping 20 goals, and he already has seven this term despite injuries and African Cup of Nations duties. City would be mad to sell him for less than £20m, either now or in the summer.