EPL: Toure's birthday gamble

EPL: Toure's birthday gamble

Confusion reigns in the Yaya Toure saga, and incredibly, it all revolves around the Manchester City and Ivory Coast star's 31st birthday.

According to his agent, Dimitry Seluk, Toure feels unloved by the club he helped propel to the English Premier League title in a compelling campaign.

Toure is thinking of leaving Manchester City because they didn't go the extra mile to celebrate his birthday last week, and quite bizarrely, it could spark a number of Europe's top clubs into action.

There was a video of the midfield strongman being presented with a birthday cake, along with a congratulatory tweet by City. Seluk said yes, City should have done more for one of their best players. After all, Anzhi Makhachkala gave Roberto Carlos a Bugatti for his 38th birthday.

"It's not a question of money," Seluk insisted, as he tried to convince the world of how sensitive a man Toure is.

I'm afraid when agents say money isn't the issue, very often it is.

Brinkmanship in football is nothing new. Toure will have no problems finding a new club, if he wants to.

TALENT

Liverpool's Luis Suarez and City's Ivorian powerhouse were the most influential players in England last season.

The World Cup next month will once more showcase his unique talent.

Rarely do players combine power and grace as effortlessly as the box-to-box midfielder. Toure scores goals and creates them, as his 20 strikes and nine assists in the recent campaign testify.

That he is a fine specimen on the pitch, there is no doubt. What baffles is the pettiness that set off this farce.

I would think the farcical drama will hardly be ideal for the Ivory Coast's World Cup preparations.

And the controversy will drag on until after the World Cup, because that's when he would explain everything.

Toure's decision to back up what his agent said on Twitter, after initially urging followers not to believe anything that he didn't say himself, added to the intrigue.

City are reportedly attempting to find out if he had tweeted the messages himself, or if his advisers posted the updates on his behalf. There is also the Barcelona link to consider.

City prised him away from the Spanish giants for £24 million ($50.8m) in July 2010, and Toure has already hinted he would like to end his career at the Nou Camp.

At 31, he doesn't have plenty of years left in his career. While still at the peak of his powers, now seems like a good time to make a final move.

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