• Ivorian midfielder has appeared to indicate a wish to leave
• City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, wants mattered settled swiftly
Yaya Touré is due for talks with Manchester City over his future before the club’s second match of their summer tour of the United States on 27 July.
The Ivorian midfielder is expected to join Manuel Pellegrini’s squad no later than three days before the champions face Milan at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, along with the club’s other players who were involved with the World Cup and whose teams went out at the group stage. Those include City’s England players, Joe Hart and James Milner.
Once in America the club will discuss with Touré a series of off-message comments that appear to point to the midfielder wanting to leave or seeking an improved contract.
These began with the claim from his agent, Dimitry Seluk, that the Ivorian was not given proper recognition by the club on his birthday during a close-season trip to Abu Dhabi, which came in May following City’s championship triumph. These comments were subsequently supported by Touré on Twitter.
City contacted the midfielder and believed they had smoothed relations and so were surprised when Touré told France Football around a month later, when writing in a column, that the club had not given him compassionate leave to visit his dying brother. That claim is disputed by City, who privately state it would never deny such a request.
With Touré having been away with Ivory Coast for the World Cup and now on holiday, he is yet to meet Pellegrini or the club executive to discuss the root cause of his outbursts.
Although City are intent that Touré will not leave – Paris Saint-Germain may be one suitor – and the club are in a strong position, given he signed a new four-year contract only last year, Pellegrini is keen to settle the matter as soon as possible before his quest to mount a successful title defence and Champions League challenge next season.
However, given the nature of Touré’s claims and Seluk’s continued public comments regarding him – last week he claimed the 31-year-old would win the premier individual awards “if he was white” – the dispute could rumble on through the summer.