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Toure: I may quit Ivory Coast for City

Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has admitted he is considering retiring from international football in order to concentrate on playing for Manchester City.

Toure, 28, was a key member of the Ivory Coast side that lost last week's African Cup of Nations final on penalties to Zambia but in doing so, was unavailable for almost six weeks for City and says he may not be prepared to do that again.

"We will see whether I carry on," he told the Sunday Mirror. "I have to think about what is best for me, for my club and for my country. I love playing for Ivory Coast so it is not an easy thing to think about.

"Maybe if we had won against Zambia things would have been easier for me. The disappointment is big at the moment so I will wait until I have a clear mind before deciding what to do.

"The African Nations is being played again next year and because we have lost the final it is an emotional time for us all. But a decision about playing for Ivory Coast has to be made. I will take my time and think about things, about what I will do.

"City are my club. I have a duty to them because I am a professional, but I also needed to play for my country. I did my duty, but I didn't like being away from my City at such an important stage of the season."

One of the fixtures Toure missed was City's FA Cup defeat to Manchester United and the midfielder said it was frustrating not to be able to take part.

"I really wanted to play against United in the FA Cup but could not get permission to be there," he said. "When I left we were in the two cups. When I came back we were out. I am happy that we are still first in the Premier League. That's the most important thing - the aim is to stay there."

In Toure's absence City have failed to maintain the same high standards they set at the start of the season, with the title race becoming a more open affair.

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