Toure blasts stars chas­ing China cash

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MANCH­ESTER — Manch­ester City mid­fielder Yaya Toure has crit­i­cised fel­low foot­ballers who have traded Europe for China, say­ing he would pre­fer to fol­low Manch­ester United for­ward Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic’s ex­am­ple and stay in a com­pet­i­tive league.

Chi­nese Su­per League clubs have made a num­ber of high-pro­file re­cent sign­ings re­cently, with Shang­hai SIPG buy­ing Brazil mid­fielder Os­car from Chelsea for €60 mil­lion ($64.46 mil­lion).

Their ri­vals Shang­hai Shen­hua signed Ar­gen­tineA striker Car­los Tevez for a re­ported €84 mil­lion, but Toure said money was not ev­ery­thing to him.

“Do you play foot­ball be­cause you love foot­ball or do you play be­cause you want to make money? Me, I just want to play foot­ball be­cause I en­joy it,” he told Bri­tish me­dia.

“Some peo­ple have the men­tal­ity that they want to do that (go to China) - to try some­thing dif­fer­ent. But for me, my feel­ing is that I want to play more foot­ball.

“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.” Toure, who is out of con­tract in June, was frozen out of City’s squad ear­lier this sea­son fol­low­ing a spat be­tween the man­ager Pep Guardi­ola and the player’s agent, but re­turned to the team in Novem­ber af­ter mak­ing a pub­lic apol­ogy.

He has fea­tured reg­u­larly ever since, but there is no of­fi­cial word yet on whether he will be of­fered a new con­tract at City. His agent re­vealed last week that he had turned down a £520 000 ($648 900) a week of­fer to play in China.

“I want to play in Europe, es­pe­cially in Eng­land. I want to con­tinue do­ing that for a few years yet. I al­ways say that if I went to China I would end up feel­ing an­gry there,” the 33-year-old added.

Toure will be hop­ing to in­spire City when they travel to Sel­hurst Park to face Crys­tal Palace in an FA Cup fourth-round fix­ture on Satur­day.

Kick off is at 17:00. — Su­pers­port

Manch­ester City mid­fielder Yaya Toure has crit­i­cised fel­low foot­ballers who have traded Europe for China.

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