Toure deal most important signing

  • Last Updated: May 6 2013, 17:20 BST

After Manchester United's swift, emphatic and probably inevitable response to Manchester City's 2012 title triumph, few would be surprised if the Eastlands outfit chased some big signings this summer.

Yaya Toure: Signed a four-year deal in April
Yaya Toure: Signed a four-year deal in April

City's owners have made their ambition abundantly clear over the past few years and a response to the loss of their Premier League crown is only to be expected.

But it could actually be argued their fightback has already begun following their re-signing of their midfield linchpin Yaya Toure in early April.

Since his arrival from Barcelona three years ago, the big, powerful and inspirational Ivorian has been City's driving force and the news he is committed to the Etihad Stadium for another four years could be as important as any new arrival.

Toure, 29, dictates the pace of games, keeping his team moving with his wide range of frequent and quick passing and being ready to surge forward whenever an opportunity arises.

His strength makes him difficult to dispossess and his finishing ability adds an extra layer of threat.

Without him City are not the same side, as has been evident during the mid-season spells in each of the last two campaigns when he has been away on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast.

Last year City slipped out of both domestic cup competitions during his absence and this term costly league points were dropped at the hands of QPR and Liverpool.

He went straight back into the side for a game at Southampton in February but was not as his best as City suffered the loss which effectively ended the title race as a contest.

At the time speculation was beginning to mount over his future, not helped from City's point of view by an extraordinary threat from his representative.

Dimitri Seluk was quoted in March issuing an ultimatum that his client - who was still contracted for another two years at the time - wanted a new deal thrashed out within weeks or he would leave.

None of that chimed with recent comments from Toure professing a desire to stay and Seluk's deadline passed without development.

Nevertheless, City acted and a new agreement for a player who was already one of their highest earners was not long in coming.

Almost immediately, Toure was looking to the future and the challenge of helping permanently establish City among the game's elite.

Toure said: "I was thinking about it a long time and want to have a long time at City because it is a club where everybody wants to achieve something.

"City have a big project in the future and I am very happy with my decision.

"I want to stay at the one club where I will get everything and I think the club will get everything here.

"The people are nice, the fans are nice and they have a big project."

Toure even spoke of ending his career at the club.

"If I retire at Manchester City I hope to retire with a lot of trophies, something very important," he said.

"I want to do as much as possible to make this club become great, with my force, my commitment, my mentality. Most importantly, I want to try to make the fans happy."

The fans' gratitude was soon obvious as, days after signing his new deal, Toure ran himself to a standstill to help City secure an FA Cup final spot with a typically influential display against Chelsea at Wembley.

Toure said of the supporters: "They continue to help the team and give you more strength.

"All the time they were unbelievable. I think I know now I made a very good choice to sign the new contract.

"I want to continue to make history and continue to be part of the story of the club.

"With those kind of fans it would be difficult for me to leave."

The title is now gone but City are preparing to return to the national stadium to face Wigan in the final.

Victory would secure silverware for a third successive season, two years after Toure helped end the club's 35-year trophy drought with the winning goal in their last FA Cup final appearance against Stoke.

"The season was quite difficult for us," he said. "We had some important players injured and I had to go with my national team.

"All these things were very difficult.

"The final against Wigan is going to be very difficult again, but we hope to do it for the fans."


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