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23 January 2017

Yaya Toure insists he would never move to China for money as Man City stalwart eyes Premier League stay

Yaya Toure wants to finish his career in England – and claims players are only going to China for the money.

The 33-year-old Manchester City midfielder has turned down a huge £430,000-a-week offer to go to the Chinese Super League.

He would be the biggest coup to date for the China set-up after they targeted him, Diego Costa, Wayne Rooney and Alexis Sanchez as their spending spree carries on regardless.

Toure’s current deal at City – worth £230,000-a-week – finishes at the end of the season but it is clear he has no intention of moving just for the money as he also fired a warning to other top players.

The Ivory Coast star believes he would only end up frustrated if he went to China and claims he wants to follow Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s example and carry on playing until his late 30s.

Toure speaks to Andre Marriner (Photo: Getty)

Toure in action against Tottenham (Photo: Getty)

Toure even admitted he would end up being “angry” if he followed the likes of Oscar and John Obi Mikel to the money-laden league because the standard of football is poor and they have just gone for the cash.

Toure said: “Me to China? No….I’m still looking young, right? I want to play in Europe, especially in England. I want to continue doing that for a few years yet.

“It’s my idea to stay in England, I always say that if I went to China I would end up feeling angry there. Do you play football because you love football – or do you play because you want to make money? What’s the purpose?

Oscar lands in China (Photo: REUTERS)

Ramires

Ramires in action (Photo: Getty Images)

Hulk celebrates after scoring for Shanghai SIPG (Photo: AFP)

“Me, I just want to play football because I enjoy it, I love playing. I enjoy helping my team-mates, I enjoy playing against the big players and teams.

“I want to carry on in that way. Some people have the mentality that they want to do that – to try something different. But for me, my feeling is that I want to play more football.”

Toure has become one of the biggest stars in the Premier League after moving to City from Barcelona seven years ago.

He has forced his way back into City’s line-up despite being frozen out at first by Pep Guardiola after demanding an apology for the behaviour of his agent.

Toure with Pep Guardiola (Photo: Dan Mullan)

The Ivorian was shunned at the start of the season (Photo: Charlie Crowhurst)

Now Toure looks a vital cog in City’s midfield again and admits that he is full of admiration for what former Barcelona team mate Ibrahimovic is doing at Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic, 35, has already scored 19 goals for United this season, has got stronger through the course of the season and is leading their push for a top four finish.

It shows that the biggest stars are not necessarily finished when they hit their mid-30s and Guardiola has even suggested City may yet offer Toure a new contract at the end of the season.

That seemed an impossibility a few weeks ago and yet Toure’s appetite is there to carry on playing in the Premier League and ideally he would like to stay at City.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring the equaliser

Ibrahimovic is having a fine campaign (Photo: Reuters)

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Toure added: “I would like to carry on for a few more years. Yes, definitely. Look at my friend Ibrahimovic. He’s 35 and he’s going to play for maybe….three more years?

“He’s got the same mentality as me, he’s a big player, a champion who loves football. It’s football first.

“Anything after that is a bonus, you can be lucky to go and play for big clubs and still earn a lot of money. But those who go to China….I don’t think like that.

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“Yes, definitely (want to stay at City). I’ve said before that I’ve been involved with a lot of clubs. But especially at City, I want to give something back to the fans.

“I’d like to continue to work hard for them, keep giving them entertainment, keep them happy – that’s what I want.

“In the end, I know myself. If I was tired, I’d say ‘no more, move on’. But I don’t feel like that. I feel very, very good. I feel young.”

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Source: mirror uk spor

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