Yaya Toure may quit Man City over birthday party 'snub'
Ivory Coast star said to be angry after nobody wished him a happy 31st last week
It must be one of the strangest scandals to have hit the Premier League, but Yaya Toure's future as a Man City player does appear to be in serious doubt after claims that the club failed to wish him happy birthday.
The Guardian led the way by reporting that the Ivory Coast midfielder wanted to return to his former club, Barcelona, because of a lack of respect from the club.
Why? Well, Toure turned 31 two days after City won the title and his celebration coincided with a party in Abu Dhabi for the Premier League-winning players. However, no-one from the club wished him well on his anniversary, leaving him less than happy.
Toure feels "disrespected by the club", according to the paper, and is even prepared to take a cut in wages to return to the club he graced from 2007 to 2010.
Toure's agent, Dimitry Seluk, is quoted as saying: "Yaya is so upset he's thinking of leaving City. There are a number of things that have happened that have left Yaya feeling bitterly upset. He must concentrate on the World Cup now. But City have treated him with disrespect and have really hurt him."
The news prompted much merrymaking among fans, who bombarded the midfielder with fake birthday wishes, and Toure even took to Twitter to explain the situation. But his comments will not have gone down well in Abu Dhabi or Manchester, as he confirmed that his agent was telling the truth and that he would explain his situation once the World Cup was over.
Everything dimitry said is true . He speaks for me . I will give an interview after world cup to explain
— yaya toure (@Toure_yaya42) May 20, 2014
Elsewhere, and Ashley Cole's illustrious Chelsea career appears to be over after The Sun reported that the veteran full back would be packing his bags and leaving Stamford Bridge after eight "trophy-laden" years. After spending much of last season playing second fiddle to Spanish right-back Cesar Azpilicueta and being left out of England's World Cup squad, prompting him to quit international football, Cole has decided to move on. Liverpool and Inter Milan are favourites for his signature, says the paper.
It looks like it's bye-bye Bayern as far as Mario Mandzukic is concerned with the Daily Star claiming that the 27-year-old is "certain to leave" the German champions after the club's board allegedly "lost patience" with the Croatian striker. That's put Chelsea and Arsenal on alert with both clubs monitoring the situation as Mandzukic prepares to pack his bags. Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added fuel to the fire, telling German paper Bild: "He still has two-year contract [but] if he wants to go, then he or his advisor [can] report it."
It's said that Mandzukic who allegedly has fallen out with Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, has "cleared his belongings from the Allianz Arena" and is now considering his options with a move to England the most likely scenario. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is known to be an admirer of Mandzukic while the Star says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will "splash the cash" on the Croat ahead of next season's campaign.
However, he could also face competition from Man United boss Louis van Gaal, says the Daily Mail. It claims that Madzukic appears on his wishlist for the summer.
Meanwhile The Sun says that Manchester City "will fight to keep hold" of England star James Milner this summer by dangling what the paper describes as a lucrative new deal before his eyes. The 28-year-old midfielder has a year to run on his existing Etihad contract and he's mulling over his future and whether he wouldn't be better off at a club where he'll get regular games. The Sun says that Arsenal and Liverpool are both tracking Milner and an offer from one of the pair could be tabled in the coming weeks, but City are aware of their interest and will do their utmost to keep hold of the England playmaker.
And on the subject of City, The Guardian claims that Yaya Toure is angling for a move back to Barcelona. The 31-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder "feels disrespected by the club", according to the paper, and is even prepared to take a cut in wages to return to the club he graced from 2007 to 2010. Toure's agent, Dimitry Seluk, is quoted saying: "Yaya is so upset he's thinking of leaving City. There are a number of things that have happened that have left Yaya feeling bitterly upset. He must concentrate on the World Cup now. But City have treated him with disrespect and have really hurt him."
But what has irked him? It seems that the club forgot his birthday. Toure turned 31 two days after City won the title and his celebration coincided with a party in Abu Dhabi for the players. But no-one from the club wished him well on his anniversary.
According to Goal.com Everton are close to agreeing a deal for young Irish defender Ryan Robinson. The Shelbourne star is only 18 but his composed displays for the Irish side in recent months have come to the attraction of the Toffees, who gave him a trial earlier in the season. Shels boss John McDonnell has said an agreement is close at hand and he wishes the Republic of Ireland Under-19 defender well across the Sea. "Ryan certainly has a big future in the game. Everton would have seen a rawness to him but he has a lot going for him."
Finally, Caughtoffside claims that Louis van Gaal will find waiting for him on his desk when he arrives at Old Trafford a "massive £150m transfer war chest". And the new Manchester United manager has apparently already drawn up his summer shopping list, though by the looks of things the Old Trafford board might have to top up the chest. As well as Southampton and England defender Luke Shaw, Van Gaal also has his heart set on Roma's Dutch ace Kevin Strootman, Portuguese midfielder William Carvalho, PSG's Edinson Cavani and the German quartet of Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels.