With Yaya Toure now officially a free agent after his contract with Manchester City expired on 30 June, one of his countrymen has insisted the midfielder needed to leave because Pep Guardiola was “killing his career”.
The 35-year-old has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs, and recently revealed that a new deal could be just days away.
He has now received the backing of former Arsenal and Ivory Coast defender Emmanuel Eboue, who has insisted it was best for Toure to leave City.
“As a player, there is a time you completely cannot work with a coach and because of your future, you must go,” he told ESPN.
“It was evident Pep Guardiola did not like my brother Yaya right from the Barcelona days. It is the best decision for Yaya to get away from Guardiola’s territory because he was killing his career as a footballer.
“I think Yaya’s last one year has been hell because he was not playing enough. For a professional footballer, that is very terrible.”
Toure has reportedly received some big-money offers to go to China, but is said to prefer to stay in the English top flight, and Eboue has insisted he can still play at the highest level.
“Sometimes, it’s not all about the money, but when your relationship as a player is not good with the manager and it does not seem like it will improve, it is always better to move elsewhere,” he added.
“Yaya is a great player and leader, and I think he still has some years to continue playing at the highest level. He is the kind of player who can turn things around and he always wants to win.”
Toure made 316 appearances for City, scoring 79 goals and assisting another 50 strikes since his arrival at City in 2010, and lifted seven trophies with the club.