First it was birthday cakes and expensive cars, then the infamous tweets, then came the anger and hurt that Toure felt over the passing of his brother and being forced to fly to Abu Dhabi for the title celebrations. It sure was a summer of trouble and strife and miscommunication as far as Yaya's future was concerned.
The common perception is that Toure's agent, Dimitri Seluk, was behind much of the trouble and this is likely to be true. Mr Seluk had a long history of 'protecting his client' at Barcelona and it seems he has lost none of the bad habits from years past. Those bad habits came to the fore this summer and it seemed, for a few weeks at least, that Yaya Toure's exit from Manchester City was a very real, and not to mention a very painful, possibility.
Then today's news broke:
Yaya Toure's agent Dimitri Seluk tells me Yaya is "100% staying with #MCFC next season, not PSG or anywhere else". He's coming up on #SSN— Amy Lewis (@SkySportsAmy) July 18, 2014
Then came this:
Yaya Toure ends speculation over his future telling #SSN he'll stay at #MCFC https://t.co/gMkhqqCpJ3— SkySportsNewsRadio (@SSNRadio) July 18, 2014
Link is here: LINK
About all this speculation is, uh, one thing I know is the club has always been good with me and always good with my family. I want to say that I (would) always honour my contract and stay as long as possible and don't think about all the speculation that was saying that I was leaving. I thank the fans for what they have done for me and for the club as well I need to say(stay). I want to stay and continue and enjoy next season.
There was a lot of speculation, people sending me away and sending me everywhere but sometimes I think it is quite disappointing because I need to do some things for the fans......and people want to hear what is happening...(2 seconds of dropped audio).......and we are preparing well and we will try to do it again next year.
Apologies, if my translation tailed off a little toward the end. Either the audio dropped out a little or Yaya Toure began speaking a language I do not understand.
So, we have it from Seluk that Toure is staying and now we have this audio clip which tells us that Toure is commited and staying.
No new contract, no raise, no concessions.
I think a few things took place during this whole saga: Toure was likely going through a very difficult time personally and it cannot have been easy whatsoever to deal with his loss. That some erratic behaviour ensued is understandable and I think we can all empathize with him on a very human level. Seluk likely took advantage of some of Toure's unhappiness (real or otherwise) with the club and began to exploit this under the cover of the the World Cup.
What was Seluk (and possibly Toure) aiming to achieve? A payrise would be my first guess, a move away from the club as a second option.
A payrise, usually reserved for young players on the back of an outstanding season, was never likely to happen for Toure who is not only 31 years of age but already the clubs top earner with the lucrative contract he signed just 12 months ago.
As for a transfer to another club, was it ever likely a realistic option? Toure is an attractive option for nearly every major club in the world but the package of age (31), expensive wages and a potentially high transfer fee likely meant there was not a market for the player.
It must also be said that Manchester City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, has extensive experience in dealing with Yaya Toure and, specifically, his agent Dimitri Seluk, from their time together at Barcelona. Personal relationships matter and the familiarity, friendly or otherwise, that some of the ex-Barcelona upper management have in dealing with Toure and his agent may well have been crucial in ending this episode.
We may never know why Toure and his agent agitated for a move, nor will we likely know why Toure and his agent were convinced to stay. All we know is that the player will remain with Manchester City and this is cause for mild celebration. Manchester City retained the midfield great of the Premier League and we will now be treated to a potential midfield that has Fernando Reges holding which will allow the big beasts, Toure and Fernandinho, to roam with devastating effect.