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The drama has ended!!! Yaya Toure re-signs with Manchester City

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Exactly two weeks since Yaya Toure’s agent announced that his client felt disrespected by Manchester City and believed the club no longer wanted him, the incredible has happened. You guessed it, Toure put pen to paper today on a new four year deal to stay at the Etihad.

As compensation for the 29 year old’s services, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan will reportedly pay the Ivorian a cool $333,000/£220,000 a week.

Yes, my friends, that is a ton of moolah. That’s the kind of moolah that is a real game changer. That’s the kind of moolah that – dare I say it – makes one think that maybe, just maybe, Yaya Toure is all about the moolah.

I mean, what about all that noise Toure made over wanting to play with his brother, Kolo, who will inevitably be leaving City this summer?

“This is where I want to be,” Toure announced on City’s official website. “When I first arrived at City every time I went to sleep I would dream about us winning something; now it is about us being the best team in whatever competition we take part in.”

Awww, that’s so sweet, Yaya!

But what about Toure’s dream of finishing his career at Barcelona?

“I will never forget how I have been treated here by the fans, the club and the owners and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to finish my career as a Manchester City player.

“I want to continue winning titles and trophies and continue to make history. I have enjoyed all of my time here and can’t wait for the next chapter. This is an incredible club to be part of with fans that support a team to the end whatever the circumstances.”

Awwwwww, Yaya, stop! If you keep trying to convince me of your dedication to everything other than money my eyes might just well up with tears!

Seriously though, folks. If we’ve seen this ‘I’m sad/I feel disrespected/The club doesn’t love me‘ move once (see Rooney, Wayne), we’ve seen it a million times. Yaya Toure isn’t a bad dude. I like Yaya Toure. Because at the end of the day footballers are just like you and me – they want to make the most money possible.

But this whole charade of creating false drama to gain contractual leverage needs to beat it.

World football needs more Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s who just tell it like it is.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

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I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.