Manchester City legend and former Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure has opened the door on a possible switch to Celtic this window.
The towering midfielder is currently a free agent following his departure from Olympiakos in December, which ended a three-month stint with the Greek club.
Could Celtic sign Yaya Toure? Five things to know…
- The 35-year-old left Manchester City at the end of last season but failed to find a new club in the summer.
- West Ham were linked with a move for the Ivorian but Manuel Pellegrini revealed he turned down the chance to sign him in August.
- Toure returned to Olympiakos in September, having previously played for the club during 2005/06, but managed just four appearances.
- His contract was terminated by “mutual agreement” last month and he is now seeking a new home.
- He has since intimated a possible move to Glasgow could be on the cards.
Celtic have failed to hit the heights of previous seasons under Brendan Rodgers with fierce rivals Rangers currently level on points at the summit of the Scottish Premiership.
The Bhoys have lost four matches in the league this season, prompting Rodgers to sign reinforcements this window as he looks to win a third consecutive title. The club have recruited Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke on-loan from Paris Saint-Germain and West Bromwich Albion respectively, while Vakoun Issouf Bayo has signed permanently from Dunajska Streda.
Toure is now looking to become the fourth signing this winter, revealing Celtic’s interest to Sky Sports, though he has admitted he will need to hold talks with Rodgers before a concrete agreement is made.
“Celtic are a great team, but I will speak to Brendan Rodgers there and we will see what happens,” Toure said.
“It felt normal winning trophies with City”
Toure became a cult hero on the terraces at the Etihad following an illustrious eight-year playing career in the North West, winning six major trophies, including three Premier League medals.
His second title came at the expense of Rangers’ manager Steven Gerrard as Liverpool, then managed by Rodgers, finished runners-up from the 2013/14 campaign, during which Toure scored 20 goals. Only he and Chelsea’s all-time top-scorer, Frank Lampard, have ever managed 20+ goals from midfield within a single Premier League season.
Toure says winning silverware at City felt normal for him because he had previously enjoyed success at Barcelona.
He added: “For me it was normal. Coming from Barcelona but it gave the other players belief. We had the squad and the football club had the money to buy who they wanted but the problem was how to attract the big players to what was at that time, if I can say, a normal club.
“That was my challenge – to come and also to bring good players with me. [Sergio] Aguero, [David] Silva, [Mario] Balotelli, [Jerome] Boateng were waiting before my signing – they weren’t sure.”
Celtic are level on points with Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership table but have a game in hand. Their next league match takes place at home to St. Mirren following the Scotish Cup fourth-round tie with Airdrieonians.