Barcelona President Joan Laporta has confirmed that Yaya Toure will be leaving the Spanish champions this summer. Toure who is in South Africa for the World Cup with the Ivory Coast, has strongly been linked with a move to Manchester City where he will team up with his brother Kolo.
Laporta has stated that he would like to keep the Ivorian however, Toure who is bent on securing more playing time is keen on a move away from the Nou Camp.
“Both Touré, a player which I really like and I love, and Dimitri Seluk (his agent) get a great respect from me. Dimitri does his job putting first the player’s interest, and I always will be grateful for him.”
“I would like Barcelona to keep Yaya, but, if it can’t be like that because he wants to have more presence in another team and he guarantee more playing time there, then we’ll have to see.”
“We would like him to stay but he has finally told us that he wants to leave. Now we have to find a solution.”
Barcelona are however ready to cash in on Toure’s departure. Valued at between 20 and 25 million Euros, the Catalans have placed a 35 million Euro price tag on his head. Although adequately talented, Barca might be spreading themselves thin with such an outrageous price.
In his 2 years with Barcelona, Toure has won almost 10 titles with the Catalans. Last season was his best season ever as he won a record 6 titles including the Champions League and the FIFA World Club title. This is one of the reasons why Barca has placed such a high price on him.
Unless Barcelona have a clear replacement for Toure, one who is able to replicate or even surpass his work rate then they are bound to suffer greatly. With arch rivals Real prepared to win all the trophies they can, La Liga fans are in for an entertaining season.
Photo credit: from Stefan Meisel