Pundits 'amazed' by Yaya saga
Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Matt Le Tissier expect midfielder Yaya Toure to remain at Manchester City next season, despite his complaints about a lack of respect shown to him by the club at his birthday celebrations.
- Related Content
The 31-year-old, who still has three years left to run on his current deal, initially used Twitter to distance himself from comments made by his agent Dimitry Seluk but then reversed his position in a television interview.
Nevertheless, Redknapp says the Ivory Coast international is likely to remain at the Etihad Stadium next year amid rumours of a return to Barcelona, whom Toure left to join City in 2010.
"I'll be amazed if he's not a Man City player at the start of next season," Redknapp told Sky Sports News.
"These things are normally an agent angling for a new contract and maybe he looks at other players - across the road Wayne Rooney's getting £300,000 a week, so they say - and may think 'well, that's what I should be on'.
"I thought I'd heard it all, but this (the complaint about Toure's birthday celebrations) is a new one to me. I was at the Etihad for the last game of the season and the reception he got when they called out his name to go and get his medal was the biggest, they absolutely idolise him there.
"The fans love him and he's been a revelation in the Premier League this season with 20-odd goals from midfield. But sometimes these things don't always have a happy ending."
Meanwhile, Le Tissier, who played his whole professional career at Southampton, says City should take a strong stance over the situation.
"It's that bizarre I find it difficult to believe it's actually true but the world has changed since I played football," he said. "I don't remember people being that precious back in my day.
"But I would have thought he would be at Man City next season. If I was the Man City hierarchy, I'd insist that he was. If he's not that happy then I don't think it's a problem for them to put him in the reserves or with the kids and just say 'look, if you're not happy, just sit there for a bit and we'll get someone else in'."
Redknapp added that, ironically, Toure's age could be a factor in how the situation resolves itself.
"He was voted the player that Barcelona fans would most like to see back at the Nou Camp," he said.
"Man City have to be clever and they have to be commercial as well. You've got a 31-year-old, what are you going to give him, another four-year contract?
"Giving players four-year contracts at 31 is a dangerous game to get into. If you look at what Chelsea are doing, when their players are getting to 31, 32 they're only getting one-year contracts. I can understand Man City's position and they've got to be strong."