Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure will reportedly not allow the club to force him out when the summer transfer window opens.
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The Daily Mail reports that the 31-year-old would prefer to remain at the Etihad Stadium beyond this season despite failing to replicate the high standards he set last term, when his 20 goals inspired the Blues to the Premier League title.
He and a number of under-performing team-mates have suffered an alarming slump in form, culminating in a run of just four wins in their last 15 matches in all competitions.
The most recent outing, a bruising 4-2 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Manchester United, left City fighting for Champions League qualification – and manager Manuel Pellegrini fighting to save his job.
Even if they do secure a top-four finish, the club’s cash-rich and ambitious owners could embark on a clear-out of some of the highest earners on the books, with Toure at the top of that particular list.
A number of players could well be on their way out of the club regardless of whether Pellegrini’s services are retained.