Kolo Toure will join Liverpool on a free transfer on July 1.
The Ivory Coast international has been in England since linking up with Arsenal in 2002, spending seven years with the North London club. Toure played his part in helping the Gunners to FA Cup glory in 2003 and 2005, in between which came the Premier League success of 2004 when Arsene Wenger’s side went the entire league season undefeated.
Mark Hughes spent £16million to lure the defender to Manchester City in 2009, and he continued to feature regularly when Roberto Mancini succeeded the Welshman. However, Toure played no role when the Blues ended their 35-year wait for silverware, as he was serving a suspension for a failed drug test when they beat Stoke City in the 2011 FA Cup final.
The following season City won a first league title since 1968, but with Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott forming a impressive pairing in the heart of the back four, Toure was restricted to just 14 appearances. This tally was improved by just one outing this time around, as summer signing Mateja Nastasic pushed the former Arsenal man further down the pecking order.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season Toure was never likely to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium, and there was initial interest in him from Galatasaray and Paris St Germain. But with the player reluctant to uproot his family from the North West, Liverpool stole into pole position and have now confirmed the 32-year-old has agreed a move to Anfield.
A statement on the Reds official website read: “Liverpool Football Club can today announce they have agreed a deal in principle with Kolo Toure to join the club on July 1. The powerful defender will be registered as a Reds player when his current deal with Manchester City expires.”
This signing will relieve some of the pressure on Brendan Rodgers’ back four options next season, with Jamie Carragher hanging up his boots earlier this month. And with speculation growing over the future of Martin Skrtel, the Slovakian international, and young Uruguayan Sebastien Coates, there could yet be more defensive arrivals when the transfer window swings open on July 1.