Premier League

City's Barca links excite Toure

Yaya Toure, Manchester City
Manchester City's Yaya Toure says the clubs Barca links were a factor in signing a new deal.
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Yaya Toure has cited the arrival of two former Barcelona officials as being a key reason behind his decision to sign a new long-term deal with Manchester City.

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Toure, who has often been described by manager Roberto Mancini as one of the most influential players at the Etihad Stadium, signed a four-year extension to his contract earlier this week.

And the Ivory Coast midfielder, who turns 30 in May, told the City website: "I am sure this club is going to be one of the clubs with the most support in Europe.

"The guys that have come in - Txiki Begiristain (director of football) and

Ferran Soriano (chief executive) - built Barcelona before and signed fantastic players to make Barcelona one of the best clubs in the world.

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"I am confident about that and sure they will do it again with City and that is why I renewed my contract.

"That's why I want to stay for a long time to try to continue to play for this club and give everything until I retire."

Toure is also well aware of the importance of the next seven days to the club.

City travel to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on Monday night, trailing United by 15 points, and then head to Wembley to tackle Chelsea in an FA Cup semi-final next weekend.

"It is a really important week for us, and a tough week as well because United are a tough team and then a couple of days after we have Chelsea - an amazing game," added Toure.

"We will continue to fight for the Premier League. We have to continue to work hard although we know it is going to be difficult."

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