Pellegrini: Toure’s happy at City

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Published: Friday 24th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Manuel Pellegrini believes Yaya Toure can still find the challenges he wants at Manchester City.

Toure, City’s midfield driving force in recent seasons, was quoted this week as saying he was open to “new challenges”.

That has been interpreted as a hint he could look to move on, while the Ivorian’s agent Dimitri Seluk has also made critical comments about the club.

The scenario seems familiar with both Toure and Seluk having been outspoken about the club in each of the past two summers.

Despite that, Toure has remained at City and Pellegrini claims to see no reason why that should not remain the case.

Pellegrini said: “Maybe the new challenge is at City also.

“There are lot of different places you can have it but City also is a challenge and I am sure Yaya is very happy here.

“We have a project here, every year we are trying to improve.

“Maybe you cannot win titles every year but I think the project of the club is to improve the squad, to improve as a club so there are a lot of important things and I think it is an important challenge.”

Pellegrini, speaking at a media conference to preview Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash against Aston Villa, did not want to comment specifically on Seluk.

The Ukrainian agent last week described Pellegrini “as a good coach, but a weak manager” while also criticising other people at the club.

Pellegrini said: “You already asked me at the last press conference the same question. I say the same answer. I don’t talk about Yaya’s agent. Everyone can talk what he wants.”

Pellegrini’s future has been the subject of considerable speculation of late given City’s collapse in the title race.

City have slumped from joint-top in January to fourth, leaving them potentially facing a scrap to hold onto a Champions League spot.

But with fifth-placed Liverpool seven points behind – albeit with a game in hand – Pellegrini insists he is looking upwards to Manchester United, whom they trail by one point.

The Chilean said: “I am more interested in trying to discount one point than to lose seven. It is a positive mind.

“For me you are never satisfied if you do not win the title but if you cannot win it you must try to be as near the top of the table as you can.”

Pellegrini, whose own position has been the subject of scrutiny, believes some of the criticism of his side’s underwhelming title defence has been unfair.

He said: “I think this club is growing every year. Maybe the media does not accept that this club in the last three years won two titles and were runners-up the other (season).

“This year we are very near to that position. We have five other important teams that have the same power to bring in the players they want, so every year it will be a very important fight to try and win the title.

“You cannot do it every year but I hope next year we will do it.

“We try to do the best we can. I don’t think it is so, so bad what this club is doing, and not just in my two years.”

Pellegrini accepts, however, that expectations on the club are now considerable given their potential spending power.

He said: “It is difficult when you have a stamp put in your chest that you must be the best because you are the only club that has money. It is difficult for this club to fight against that.”

City have playmaker David Silva fit to face Villa at the Etihad Stadium following the all-clear from a facial injury.

City host Villa fresh from the Villains’ success in reaching the FA Cup final but, with top-flight status still to be secured, they still have plenty to play for this week.

Pellegrini said: “It is a test that we must win three points from to try and be as near to the top of the table as we can.

“I don’t think Aston Villa will not be concentrated. One thing is to arrive in the final of FA Cup, another thing is to be relegated from the Premier League.

“I don’t think they are in a very good position in the table so I am sure we are going to have a very tough game.”

Published: Friday 24th April 2015 by The News Editor

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