Toure flattered by Arsenal and City links
Wednesday 07 January 2009
Yaya Toure is happy to be linked with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City but insists his focus is currently only on trying to do well on the pitch for Barcelona.
The Barclays Premier League rivals are both reportedly following the Ivory Coast international as they look to bolster their respective squads during the January transfer window.
But while Toure admits he is pleased to see his name associated with clubs like those, the 25-year-old refused to speculate on whether he would be willing to trade Barcelona for a move to England if the chance arose this month, preferring instead to leave off-field matters in the hands of his agent.
"I play for Barcelona now and I don't think about these things. But I have a manager who works for me and thinks about all these things because for me the most important thing is the football," Toure said after helping Barca beat Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey last night.
"When a big club call you it's very good for me because I'm an African player and when a big team like Arsenal and Manchester (City) call me I'm very happy because all African players want to go to a big club.
"But right now I play for Barcelona and I want to make everything work and then after I will see."
While City are the latest club thought to be interested in Toure, Arsenal have long been linked with the powerhouse midfielder and already have his older brother Kolo in their ranks.
Yaya Toure even had a trial with Arsenal during pre-season in 2005 but failed to secure a deal and ended up joining Olympiacos, before moving to Monaco in 2006 and then onto Barca two summers ago.
When asked about the prospect of joining Arsenal, Toure said: "If I went there I would go and play with my brother and I've thought about this for a long time.
"But the important thing is I want to play. I want to tell you that I play football. My friend (manager) sorts these things out for me. I'm more concentrated on the football.
"Two or three years ago I went to Arsenal, but I didn't sign. Arsenal are a great team and that time when I went there they had Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, great players... I think now I'm playing at a big club with Barcelona, who are one of the best clubs in the world."
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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