April 24, 2015 16:03:16 UK
Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini believes that his club can convince midfield star Yaya Toure to stay put and shun offers of a big-money summer move.
The 31-year-old Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season, having struggled for form as the Citizens have seen their Premier League title defence crumble in recent weeks.
We have a project here, every year we are trying to improve.
However, Pellegrini still thinks that Toure can be persuaded to stay with City next season, as he told reporters ahead of a visit from Aston Villa: “Maybe a new challenge is City also. There are lot of different places you can have it. 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 – I think it is an important challenge.”
Meanwhile, Spanish playmaker David Silva has been cleared to face the Villans, having taken a blow to the face in the 2-0 win over West Ham last weekend.
It was initially feared that Silva had suffered a broken cheekbone, but X-rays showed no serious damage and the former Valencia man is in line to play his part against Villa.
Gael Clichy, Stevan Jovetic and Samir Nasri are absentees, but James Milner and Wilfried Bony have shaken off knocks and could feature, while Pellegrini confirmed that captain Vincent Kompany is still facing a race to be fit before the end of the season.
He added: “It’s important how Vincent will improve in the next week. I think he’ll be missing for at least two weeks more.”
City are 1.28 to take all three points against the FA Cup finalists, with the draw 6.00, while Toure can be backed at 5.00 to score the first goal of the game for the home side.
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