Birthday-gate: Bizarre row casts doubt over Yaya Toure's Man City future
Yaya Toure's future as a Manchester City player is in doubt after he appeared to endorse claims by his agent that he was unhappy with the Premier League champions
London: Yaya Toure's future as a Manchester City player is in doubt after he appeared to endorse claims by his agent that he was unhappy with the Premier League champions.
His agent, Dimitry Seluk, claimed that City had shown Toure a lack of respect by not sufficiently acknowledging the player's 31st birthday last week.
The Ivory Coast international, who scored 20 goals in City's run to the title in the season just finished, backed up the claims with a message on Twitter later on Tuesday.
"Everything dimitry said is true. He speaks for me. I will give an interview after world cup to explain," he wrote.
Seluk had told the BBC that Toure was "very upset" and there was a "big possibility" he could leave the club this summer because he felt under-appreciated.
He said the player found it particularly hurtful that no one from the club wished him a happy birthday when he turned 31 during last week's post-season trip to Abu Dhabi, the home of City's owners.
This grievance was soon shown to be untrue as media quickly picked up on a video published by the club last week, in which Toure was presented with a birthday cake, while City also tweeted a birthday message.
But Seluk told the BBC: "None of them shook his hand on his birthday. It's really sick you know.
"He got a cake but when it was Roberto Carlos's birthday, the president of Anzhi (Makhachkala) gave him a Bugatti.
"I don't expect City to present Yaya with a Bugatti, we only asked that they shook his hand and said, 'we congratulate you'. It is the minimum they must do when it is his birthday and the squad is all together.
"It is an important human relationship to shake hands and say 'happy birthday' but nobody did it to Yaya. It shows they don't care about him."
City did not respond to these remarks but Toure only signed a new four-year contract last season and Seluk does have a history of threatening his client's exit, having done so in each of the last two years at City and during his time at Barcelona.
Last year he demanded that a new contract be agreed by a certain deadline only for that to pass a month before Toure signed his new deal.
Seluk, however, insisted he was not trying to engineer talks over another new contract.
He said in The Sun: "He's very upset and he started thinking of leaving the club. And he will leave if things carry on like this.
"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."
Toure initially appeared to put an end to the matter when he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: "Thanks for all the birthday messages today. Card from City just arrived... Must have got lost in the post. Haha.
"Jokes aside. Please do not take words that do not come out of MY mouth seriously. Judge my commitment to @MCFC by my performances."
But he then wrote: "My agent was trying to make a point here on my behalf, joke aside. It seems important for me to make a statement..i am going to do so."