“I have tried to find another Yaya in my squad but there isn’t another Yaya.”
Those were the words of Roberto Mancini back in January 2012, when City were about to lose the Ivorian talisman to the African Cup of Nations. Mancini has also nothing but good things to say about Yaya Toure, and in return Yaya called the former City boss “an unbelievable coach” when asked.
Last summer, Mancini tried to recruit Toure for his project at Inter, and by all accounts a deal was very close to happening until things changed. Former City assistant Attilio Lombardo said Mancini and Toure had agreed on a move, then something went wrong between the clubs.
Fast forward half a season and Yaya is drawing criticism for his performances. Almost 33, he is still an important player for the Blues and still capable of magic, but disappointing performances are becoming more common and there is a feeling that the end of this marriage may be close.
Mancini has again expressed his admiration for Yaya and reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear he would love to again coach one of his favourite players from his time City. On the possibility of signing Toure, Mancini today said:
“Anything can happen in the transfer window. Yaya Toure is a top player and he’ll remain at that level for many years because he’s got class and great physique.”
Unlike some City fans, Mancio obviously doesn’t believe Yaya is anywhere close to finished…