Michael Lintorn believes that Man City fans shouldn't be too fearful of losing Yaya Toure, despite his birthday-related grievances...
"Seluk has previous for deploying such tactics, and has made several comments that have later proven nonsense, such as pledging “he won’t go to Man City” about Toure in 2009."
The Yaya Toure story about him becoming unsettled at Man City because the club didn't make a big enough fuss about his recent birthday sounds too ridiculous to be true, yet there are enough quotes - however absurd - from those involved to indicate that this really is happening.
A saga that started with the midfielder's agent Dimitri Seluk legitimately saying things like "he got a cake, but when it was Roberto Carlos's birthday, the Anzhi president gave him a Bugatti" and "none of them shook his hand on his birthday; it's really sick" has escalated to the point of transfer talk.
The 24-goal fan favourite - who received a cake, a bottle of champagne and a congratulatory tweet from Man City on May 13 - initially calmed the situation with a joke about his card arriving a week late and a reassuring statement: "Don't take words that do not come from my mouth seriously."
However, Toure U-turned soon after, claiming that: "Everything Dimitri said is true. He speaks for me". You would presume that rethink was prompted by a nudge from his advisor, though doubt is created by it emerging that he said a day earlier that "everything is open" regarding his future.
Despite that, the common consensus is that this was a stunt designed to deliver a pay rise following the Ivorian's exceptional season. Seluk has previous for deploying such tactics, and has made several comments that have later proven nonsense, such as pledging "he won't go to Man City" about Toure in 2009.
As a result, it appears that Man City supporters shouldn't be too concerned yet, although the fact that such an incident even occurred in the first place is likely to damage relationships between the 31-year-old (see, we remembered Yaya) and both his employers and their fans somewhat.
Betfair offer a market on whether or not the World Cup-bound star will leave the club during the summer transfer window which - once fully liquid - is likely to price Toure at around 1.330/100 to stay and 4.216/5 to depart.