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What the Media Says

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Sagna hails 'respectful and professional' Toure

KEEP YOUR EYE ON IT: Sagna watches a suspicious levitating ball pass by...

KEEP YOUR EYE ON IT: Sagna watches a suspicious levitating ball pass by...

One name has dominated the City-centric headlines in the past few days – and deservedly so.

Yaya Toure’s match-winning display at Crystal Palace has been one of the main talking points of the weekend’s Premier League action, and that’s still the case today.

Bacary Sagna has been speaking to the media about the Ivorian’s return, expressing his delight.

Quoted on Goal.com, the Frenchman declared: “I am very pleased for him because it has not been easy for him in the past few weeks.

“He kept working really hard in training, stayed professional, and that was his just reward.

“Everyone knows his quality, and he showed he is a great player. Everyone was expecting a lot from him and he responded.

“The manager showed his confidence in Yaya, and Yaya gave it back to him.

“Yaya is a great guy and has always been part of the club. Nobody doubts he is a great player, but he showed some character and proved he can be decisive.

“It could have been a difficult situation, but knowing the man I was not surprised to see him achieving the game he played at Palace because he was always respectful to everyone, always professional, and he is always the first one to try to play football, his football.

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“He was vital for us. Technically, he made a big difference in getting us back into the game – and he scored two goals!”

On the same topic, the Independent believe Toure has made his case for inclusion in City’s Champions League squad.

Writes Jack Pitt-Brooke: “Yaya Toure won the game single-handedly for Manchester City on Saturday but he will not be involved this week when City fly to Germany to face Borussia Monchengladbach.

“Toure, of course, was left out of the Champions League squad by Pep Guardiola back in September. Even after his Selhurst Park heroics, he is still in a strange position: one of City’s most respected, experienced and well-paid players, but still only on the fringe of Guardiola’s plans.

“So far this season Guardiola has built his midfield around Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, with David Silva and Fernando involved as well. Now he has Toure, arguably one of the most important players in City’s history, to call on too.

“Guardiola said that Toure would allow him to rotate more in midfield. He will certainly not go back to being as important as he was in his glory days four years ago.

“City have power and goals through the middle but it comes from De Bruyne instead. But on Saturday Toure played between De Bruyne and Fernandinho in midfield, scoring both City goals as well as adding some presence and calm against a very direct powerful opponent.

“He will certainly be able to contribute that again over the next few months, especially when the fixtures pile up over Christmas.”

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In other news, another name has cropped up in the City-related news – and it’s a familiar one.

Lionel Messi has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium for quite some time now, and the rumours are circulating once again.

According to Simon Mullock of the Mirror: “Manchester City will break the bank to sign Lionel Messi.

“The Etihad club are putting together a stunning financial package in excess of £200million in a bid to land Barcelona’s unsettled Argentine ace next summer.

“City bosses are drawing up a plan that will see them pay Barca a world-record transfer fee in excess of £100m as well as handing Messi a basic wage of £500,000-a-week.

“The Blues believed that their appointment of Messi's former Barca boss Pep Guardiola as manager last summer would put them in pole position to sign the player should be ever decide to leave the Nou Camp.

“And that confidence has now exploded following the Spanish champions’ failure to convince the 29-year-old to sign a new contract.

“Messi has a £215m buy-out clause in his current deal but his contract will expire in 2018, and Barca know they will be forced to sell the four-time World Footballer of the Year next summer or risk losing him for nothing 12 months later.

“Paris Saint-Germain, Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea and United would also be in the mix for Messi, while clubs in the cash-rich Chinese League could offer the forward an even bigger fortune than he could pick up in Europe. But the prospect of linking up with Guardiola again is a huge attraction.”

What the Media Says

Yaya Toure grabs Man City headlines

TOURE - Yaya Toure celebrates scoring his side's first goaL

Football so often serves up wonderful narratives - that's why we love it after all - and Yaya Toure's match-winning return to the Manchester City side was a veritable tap-in for the media's story-tellers.

Read what the papers and pixels are saying...

First Team News

Guardiola delighted with Yaya return

PEP - Guardiola-arrives-at-Crystal-Palace

Pep Guardiola hailed Yaya Toure’s match-winning performance against Crystal Palace and says he now has another player who can help City challenge for silverware.

Pep Guardiola reacts to City's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace

First Team News

Yaya Toure expects tight title race

TOURE - Yaya Toure celebrates scoring his side's first goaL

Yaya Toure says he expects Manchester City to be involved in a tight title race this season after his two goals at Crystal Palace moved the Blues joint top of the table with Liverpool.

Man City midfielder Yaya Toure predicts a repeat of the 2014 Premier League title race