English Premiership

Toure defends City move

2010-08-09 12:13
Yaya Toure (AFP)

United Kingdom - Manchester City's new signing Yaya Toure has defended his move to the Premier League club from Barcelona amid claims he is more interested in money than football.

The Ivory Coast midfielder moved to City in a 24 million pounds (28 million euros) move that will see him become the highest paid player in the Premier League on a salary of around 200 000 pounds a week.

But the 27-year-old Champions League winner with Barcelona has had to defend himself from criticism that he left the Spanish champions for a more sedate life, content to just pick up his vast salary.

"I don't think this is a step down," said Toure, who was speaking at the launch of City's online coaching school.

"The Premier League is amazing. It is stronger than La Liga. And Manchester City are making great strides within it.

"In future they will be a big club.

"Every team in every country is starting to talk about the club.

"They know we are signing good, important players and I want to do my bit.

"I don't feel pressure. I do have a lot of experience and I am determined to do my very best to make this club successful."

Toure said that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had expressed an interest but he did not use the same personal touch as City's Roberto Mancini.

"When you sign for any team, the most important thing is the contact you have with the trainer," he claimed.

"When they do something and they put pressure on in some way to sign you it is very important. When you don't talk with the trainer it is bad.

"That is why I came to Manchester City. We have a fantastic coach and we are signing good players. It will be great here this year."

Saturday's clash with Tottenham will represent the end of a decade-long odyssey for Toure who has always dreamed of playing in England.

Just like brother Kolo, Arsene Wenger wanted Toure at Arsenal as a teenager only for work permit problems to scupper the potential move.

Instead Toure headed for Belgium, Ukraine, Greece and France before finally ending up at Barcelona.

"I love the Premier League," he said. "I have always wanted to play here. The biggest players play here.

"People like Steven Gerrard and my biggest friend Didier Drogba.

"Physically it is good. You have to be strong and I am thirsty to do well here.

"There are so many big teams - Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and the rest.

"But City are here now and maybe for United that is not so nice because we are making good progress.

"I really want to see how they do against us."

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