Report: Yaya Toure will stay with Man City; Did United bid for him?

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Granted it’s only July, but Yaya Toure has cooled off the rumors that he wants out of Manchester City.

Two months of apparent blather regarding dissatisfaction with City due to snubbed birthday celebrations and a dearth of flowers, found fuel added to the fire by The Daily Star’s report claiming that Manchester United had bid $68 million for the Ivory Coast superstar.

And according to Toure, it’s all a part of silly season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Yaya says he’s ready to stay at the Etihad Stadium and defend his club’s Premier League title:

“There has been a lot of speculation but they’ve always been good with me and good with my family,” he told Sky Sports News.

“I want to say that I will always honour my contract and stay as long as possible and don’t think about all the speculation saying that I’m leaving. For the fans for all they have done for me and the club as well, I need to say it’s a big pleasure to stay and continue and try to enjoy the next season.

“Everything is fine now. There was a lot of speculation about people sending me away and people were sending me everywhere.”

Well, everything is fine now. But it wasn’t before. Or it was. Or it wasn’t.

Perhaps his comments are coming on the heels of the Manchester United bid report. Certainly, Louis van Gaal’s efforts to return Manchester United to the UEFA Champions League would’ve been handed a huge boost by stealing a man from his rivals. Yaya Toure would also allow United to sell Wayne Rooney if they wanted, turning their attacking focus to a mix of Yaya, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie.

In any event, now it seems we can go back to praising the stellar midfielder’s play. And by that, we mean following his agent’s lead on whether racism is keeping Yaya from winning awards.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.