Photo credit: @ olympiacos_org

Yaya Toure returns to Greek giants Olympiakos

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) Yaya Toure is back with Olympiakos after a 12-year absence.

The 35-year-old midfielder received a warm reception from Olympiakos fans at their Karaskaikis Stadium on Sunday. Perhaps inspired by Toure’s presence, Olympiakos thrashed Giannena 5-0 in the Greek league.

Toure last played for Olympiakos in the 2005-06 season. He has been a free agent since leaving Premier League champions Manchester City in the summer.

His return has excited Olympiakos fans with the team having just had its worst season in 23 years — third place after winning 20 league titles in 22 seasons.

Olympiakos competes in this season’s Europa League after beating Burnley 4-2 on aggregate in the playoff round.

Toure said he had “offers from lots of clubs” before choosing Olympiakos.

“I cannot wait to help the club win the trophies the great fans of Olympiakos deserve,” Toure wrote on his website.

Although no financial details were given, Greek sports website Sport24 said Toure will be paid $2.9 million for one season, plus 2.3 million dollars as a signing bonus.

Transfer rumor roundup: Fekir to Liverpool; Spurs to lock up Alli, Eriksen

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We’re just days away from kickoff at the World Cup in Russia, and a number of the tournament’s would-be stars are preparing to make some big moves on the club level.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s transfer talk ]

Pro Soccer Talk takes a look at the biggest transfer stories on Saturday, including Liverpool’s pursuit of another talented attacker.


The Reds already boast one of the top attackers in the world, but Jurgen Klopp isn’t done building his squad.

Liverpool is reportedly set to add Lyon star Nabil Fekir after the Frenchman passed a medical with the club, according to French FA president Noel Le Graet.

The 24-year-old is currently on international duty with Les Bleus as they prepare for the 2018 World Cup.


Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur is set to get some good news of its own in the form of re-signing two of the club’s biggest stars.

Following Harry Kane‘s decision to sign an extension with Spurs, it appears two of his teammates will follow suit.

The Mirror is reporting that Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen will each sign new deals with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side, who finished in the Premier League top four last season.


West Ham United could be in store for another big summer of spending as well.

The Hammers are reportedly pursuing veteran Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure, who is currently a free agent.

Toure last played for Manchester City, however, fell out of favor in the starting XI over the past few years as the Citizens squad got younger under Pep Guardiola.

Yaya Toure makes wild racial claims about Pep Guardiola

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Yaya Toure is proffering some audacious claims about ex-manager Pep Guardiola, claiming a need to “break the myth” of the Manchester City architect while essentially decrying him as racist against Africans.

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The BBC contacted Man City, which declined comment. That seems smart given Toure’s combustible reputation and knack for living on the lunatic fringe.

While claims of racial inequity in football need to be carefully examined, this one seems a head-scratcher at first blush. Guardiola re-signed Toure to a one-year deal after the 2016-17 season despite being a headache for Pep during the boss’ first season, and really across two clubs.

In his career, Guardiola has managed African players like Toure (Ivory Coast), and signed Seydou Keita to Barcelona (Mali) and Mehdi Benatia (Morocco) to Bayern Munich. He’s linked with Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) again this summer, and has sold Wilfried Bony (Ivory Coast) and Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria).

This, of course, is without mentioning the myriad players of African descent who’ve thrived under the Catalan boss.

Guardiola butted heads with Toure at both Barca, selling him, and Man City, suspending him, but it all seemed to come together this season for the pair. Toure even had his name put on one of the club’s training fields.

And Yaya, like a man flicking a lighter, has set it ablaze again , and not like a birthday candle. Why did it not come off well with Pep and Yaya in stint No. 2 at City? From the BBC’s translation of Toure’s France Football interview.

“I do not know why but I have the impression that he was jealous, he took me for a rival. As if I made him a little shade.

“He was cruel to me. I came to wonder if it was not because of my colour. I am not the first to talk about these differences in treatment. In Barca, some have also asked the question. When we realize he often has problems with Africans wherever he goes, I ask myself questions.

“I want to be the one who breaks the myth of Guardiola.”

And again, comments like these are a concern in most cases, but Toure is a pretty unique case with a penchant for making controversy. Whether cake-related or other.

Yaya Toure talks future, wants to play with Paul Pogba

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There is very little debate: Yaya Toure is his own special case.

The longtime Manchester City midfielder does what he wants, flies his own flag, has the worst agent in the game, and is pleased or dismayed in unusual ways.

[ UCL: What would Real 3-peat mean? ]

Toure, 35, has been linked with a move to NYCFC now that he’s leaving Man City, but the Ivorian still wants to play two more seasons for a Champions League or Europa League club.

And he wants to get together with Paul Pogba. You can see where this is going… (from The Manchester Evening News):

“Pogba is the same size, power – but different in the way he wants to go. Technically as well, the ability to score goals as well. It is a player I want to play with, to be honest, just to teach him some things.”

That must mean both are going to Paris Saint-Germain because… Yaya at Manchester United? No way, right? Right? Even with last year’s reports from his — again — terrible agent that it was an option, that still seems too villainous.

“I don’t rule big teams out. The big teams are very important for me. What they want to achieve, the way they want to go, for me is very important. … I want to go somewhere I can win and achieve. It’s going to be hard one day to play against City, but I have to do that. It is part of my job.”

Toure later said he was “no good in an office,” which had us thinking, well, what if they properly celebrated your birthday, Yaya?

Man City 5-0 Swans: Royal blowout

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  • Swans give guard of honor
  • Four different goal scorers
  • Fabianski saves PK

Five different players scored as Manchester City hammered Swansea City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Fans flooded the pitch after the final whistle, many congregating around a surprised Benjamin Mendy in his return from injury.

Kevin De Bruyne scored the highlight reel goal, with David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Bernardo Silva also scoring for the Premier League champions in their first match since sealing the title through a Manchester United loss to West Brom.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Man City put together another brilliant team goal to open the scoring, with Kevin De Bruyne playing Raheem Sterling toward the end line and David Silva burying Sterling’s cutback in the 12th minute.

Sterling made it 2-0 in the 16th minute, capping off a 1-2 between Fabian Delph and David Silva with a back post tap-in.

Lukasz Fabianski caught a curling effort from Bernardo Silva as the match reached the half hour mark. He’d stop De Bruyne two minutes later.

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De Bruyne scored an otherworldly goal from 25 yards in the 54th minute.

Swansea almost had an answer through Ki Sung-yeung’s corner kick, but Alfie Mawson headed over the bar.

Federico Fernandez conceded a penalty kick to Sterling, and Jesus saw his chance saved by Fabianski. That didn’t stop Bernardo Silva from carving a rebound goal for 4-0.

Benjamin Mendy made his long-awaited return from injury with a 75th minute substitution for Delph.

Fellow substitute Phil Foden took a play started by Yaya Toure and nearly found an assist when Fabianski caught Jesus’ header.

Jesus got his goal when he popped Toure’s scooped past over Fabianski in the 88th.