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Toure agent sparks confusion
A day of confusion and farce surrounding Yaya Toure has seemingly ended with the player expressing his unhappiness at Manchester City.
The City midfielder initially appeared to contradict claims from his outspoken agent that he could quit the club this summer because he felt under-appreciated and disrepected.
But, communicating his thoughts via Twitter, he quickly backtracked and made statements in favour of his representative. Much later, an earlier tweet suggesting people should not accept the word of his agent, Dimitry Seluk, was deleted.
Adding to the absurdity was the apparent suggestion from Seluk that one of Toure's main gripes was the club's failure to mark his 31st birthday last week.
This was soon exposed as untrue by the electronic media as a video published by City last week, in which Toure was presented with a birthday cake, was widely circulated. Many also pointed out that the club had tweeted a happy birthday message at the time.
This then threw the spotlight back on Seluk, who has a reputation for making outlandish claims.
But Seluk, in one of a number of interviews conducted with various media outlets to restate his case throughout the day, then clarified his remarks.
"He got a cake but when it was Roberto Carlos's birthday, the president of Anzhi gave him a Bugatti," he told the BBC, although he did add he did not expect City to give Toure a car.
The complaint appeared to be that nobody from a senior position at the club had wished Toure many happy returns.
City did not comment on any of the developments, but with Toure having only signed a four-year contract in 2013, their position is one of strength.
Seluk also has a track record of threatening his client's exit from clubs. He did so in each of the past two seasons at City and also at his previous clubs, notably Barcelona.
In fact last year Seluk demanded Toure's latest contract discussions be concluded by a certain deadline, only for that date to pass and Toure - with little apparent complaint - to sign a month later.
Seluk, however, insisted he was not trying to engineer talks over another new contract.
He said: "It's not a question of money or contract, believe me. He has everything he needs. For Yaya what is the most important thing is human relationships."
That emphasised again the issue of Toure's birthday, which does appear to be a bone of contention.
Toure tweeted: "Everything dimitry said is true. He speaks for me. I will give an interview after world cup to explain."
Toure's stock is currently high after an outstanding 2013-14 season in which he scored 24 goals, 20 of them in City's victorious Barclays Premier League campaign.
But Seluk told talkSPORT: "Honestly, it's not 100 per cent that he will stay at Manchester City, it's better to say 50-50.
"I tell you this is not about (birthday) cake, more importantly it is about attention. Yaya can buy cake for everybody and it's no problem from him.
"When Yaya is on the pitch he works very hard for the entire 90 minutes.
"He takes the ball from his own half and runs the entire length of the field and scores beautiful goals, there aren't too many players who can do this.
"He has motivation to play well for City, he fights for City, but he feels he fights for the team and the club forget about him.
"It's very upsetting for him. When the club celebrated winning the Premier League, everything was good. Yaya had a great season and everybody at Manchester City was together.
"But nobody said congratulations to Yaya for his performances, and that made Yaya think the club don't respect him and don't give him enough attention.
"Of course it's not a question about the money, his relationship with the club is the most important thing to Yaya.
"The attention a player has at a club, the more motivation they have for the future there."
There was a further complication in that Seluk also suggested in another interview that Toure's tweets did not always come from the player himself.
Seluk said on Sky Sports News: "Before that was not really from Yaya... After that Yaya put what he wanted and not what he asked persons to do."