Things are not currently looking too bright for Manchester City. After winning the Premier League title in momentous last-day fashion last term, a limp and inconsistent campaign has blighted the club in 2012/13. With a gap of 15 points between the Etihad Stadium outfit and league leaders Manchester United with only nine games to play, it appears that it will be when, not if, the title returns to Old Trafford.

Yaya Toure

Roberto Mancini’s position may well be questioned in the summer after a dud Champions League campaign also, but one matter needs to be addressed with more urgency. With contract negotiations ongoing, Yaya Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, has stated that the Ivory Coast international midfielder may well look to leave the soon-to-be disposed Premier League champions if a new deal is not agreed on in the near future.

“If he signs a contract in the next three or four days, OK. If not, we will not wait any longer and will start negotiations with different clubs.

“Today is Tuesday, so it means by Saturday. We will say ‘Thank you. OK, Yaya will leave in May.’

“I do not feel he will stay at City. This is not about money. He wants to leave because of many reasons.”

Alarm bells must be going off in the ears of City fans, and the club itself. Toure, despite being out of action whilst away on African Nations Cup duty, remains one of the club’s main assets; a player who drives them forward relentlessly.

The African midfielder played a huge part in City’s Premier League win last term, and when on form this time round has been equally as scintillating. His control on the ball, influence across the park and endless work-rate means that he can be the difference between victory and defeat.

The way that things stand, if Toure was to leave it would be a massive blow for City. Replacing a player of his calibre would be very difficult, even with their endless supply of investment. Despite a disappointing campaign, City would be well advised to placate and please arguably their best player before he is hounded by inevitable suitors across Europe.

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