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Oct 19, 2012

Mancini dismisses Yaya exit talk

Roberto Mancini has laughed off speculation that Yaya Toure will leave Manchester City and hopes the Ivorian will choose to miss next year's African Nations Cup to focus on the club's title charge.

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Toure was linked with Chelsea after comments from his agent Dimitri Seluk, who said he was looking for "a new challenge" and also suggested the 29-year-old could return to Barcelona.

But City manager Mancini is confident that Toure will stay - and also hopes to see more of him in the first couple of months of 2013.

The Italian said he had "absolutely no" concerns that Toure sees his future elsewhere and added: "I am happy that Yaya wants a new challenge because I also want a new challenge. I want to win the next game, the next game in the Champions League, everything.

"Every day we have a new challenge here, because in two-and-a-half years, we won the FA Cup, the Premier League and the Charity Shield. Now we need to win another cup and another Premier League. We need to work more for this challenge. I think that Yaya thinks that, like me and like the other players."

City visit high-flying West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and Mancini joked: "This is another big challenge for Yaya."

Toure joined City from Barcelona for £24 million in 2010 and won them their first trophy in 35 years when he scored the winning goal in the 2011 FA Cup final.

His absence for City during this year's African Nations Cup, at which Ivory Coast reached the final, saw the club's title challenge disrupted and he could miss seven City matches if he goes to next year's tournament in South Africa.

The competition takes place from January 19 to February 10 and Mancini is hoping the midfielder will consider concentrating on his club, rather than his country.

"I hope Yaya stays here. I haven't yet spoken with Yaya about this. Probably we will speak in the next week," Mancini said.

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