30 July 2014 02:44
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure wants to stay at the Premier League champions for as long as possible after a turbulent off-season.
Toure’s future in Manchester was cast into doubt at the end of City’s successful 2013-14 Premier League campaign, when the Ivorian accused the club of lacking respect after he claimed they failed to wish him a happy birthday.
The Ivory Coast international also publicly criticised City for refusing a request for compassionate leave to visit his dying brother before the World Cup, though the club denied the accusation.
However, the 31-year-old, who scored 20 goals in 35 league appearances last season, seems certain to end his career at Etihad Stadium.
“It was not a case of me wanting to leave the club. I stayed quiet, I believe that is the right way, and at the end of the day it’s my decision,” Toure told City’s official website.
“I will stay at Man City for as long as possible.
“I’m feeling fine. It’s good to start training again. It’s been a difficult pre-season.
“Everyone is very positive. Last year was a good season and this year I hope and think it will be amazing, because all the big teams are signing good players.”
Toure – absent from City’s International Champions Cup victory over Milan on Sunday – added: “The matter is closed now. The most important thing was to try to focus again.
“Last season was quite difficult at first but in the end it was fantastic – two trophies. This year we’ll try to do our best, we are looking to do well in the Champions League. It will be very open.”
City have remaining pre-season fixtures against Liverpool and Olympiacos in the United States before returning to England for the FA Community Shield and their Premier League opener at Newcastle United on August 17.