Belfast Telegraph

Toure shrugs off criticism

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has brushed off recent criticism of his form and maintains he is fully committed to the Barclays Premier League champions.

Toure has yet to score for City this season and was heavily criticised for an abject display in their Champions League defeat against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, which prompted City boss Manuel Pellegrini to suggest his form could be suffering as he comes to terms with the death of his younger brother Ibrahim, who passed away in June.

Toure's disappointing start to the season comes after a turbulent summer in which he criticised City and speculation arose over his future, but the 31-year-old Ivory Coast international maintains he is fully committed to the club.

"People always criticise me. First of all, it was about the money, after it was about different things. For me, my commitment will always be high with this club," Toure told BBC's Football Focus ahead of Sunday's encounter against Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Toure's agent Dimitry Seluk suggested in May that his client could move on after claiming that City did not make him feel valued and appreciated, especially on his 31st birthday.

Despite supporting Seluk's comments at the time, Toure admits he was disappointed by the summer speculation and reaffirmed his commitment to Manuel Pellegrini's side.

"At the end of the day I will definitely stay with City," he said.

"There was a lot of speculation about birthday cakes and rubbish like that. It's quite disappointing for me and for the fans because a little joke has become so serious.

"I was quite surprised about why people reacted about that, how serious they took it."

Toure stopped short of confirming he would follow the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva in signing a new deal at City but insists he wants to lead the club to Champions League glory.

He said: "I know all the fans love me because the fans have always been good with me and my family.

"My target now is the Champions League, I want to make it for them.

"For me it doesn't matter about the contract or spending money, the matter is (to) perform well, try to be 100 per cent."

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