Kolo Toure will leave Manchester City at the end of the season.
The Ivory Coast international arrived at the Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2009, when Mark Hughes used £16million of his budget to lure him from Arsenal. A regular in his first two seasons at the club, he only made 14 Premier League appearances last term and this time round he has made just 12, of which eight have been from a starting position.
Vincent Kompany is the bedrock of the Blues back four and was last season partnered by Joleon Lescott, but young Serbian international Mateja Nastasic has impressed in his debut campaign in England, thus relegating Toure to fourth choice. And with his contract set to expire in the summer, the 32-year-old has decided to move on.
“I have been here for nearly four years, and two fantastic years when I have been playing a lot and I hear my songs with Yaya and I will miss those things, for me my family is here, my kids are at school and they like the area – but in two months nothing has come from the club and I am thinking about my future definitely,” Toure told Sky Sports News.
Toure was part of Arsenal’s Invincibles squad of 2004 which won the Premier League without losing a match, and also won two FA Cups with the Gunners. His trophy collection could mirror that at City, as he helped them to the Premier League last season and with one FA Cup also in the bag from 2011, a final with Wigan Athletic is on the agenda next month.
Considering the success he has had in England, it is little surprise that he intends to remain in the country despite being linked with clubs from overseas. Paris St Germain and Galatasaray have both been linked with the player in the past, but it appears he would only look at such options if there are no takers within the Premier League.
“My first choice is this country, as I like English football – that is why I began playing football,” Toure added. “After Ivory Coast I came here, I don’t know any other culture and it is important for me to stay here, I have been here for ten-years.”